The evolution of South Asia’s nuclear powers, Journal Pioneer, Henry Srebrnik on January 26, 2014 While much of the world’s attention these days is focused on Iran’s nuclear program, it should not be forgotten that its eastern neighbours, Pakistan and India, South Asia’s two largest countries and long-time enemies, both are nuclear-armed states.
India is not a party to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and tested what it called a “peaceful nuclear explosive” in 1974. The test was the first after the creation of the NPT, and India’s secret development of nuclear weaponry, using civilian nuclear technology, caused great concern and anger from nations such as Canada, that had supplied its nuclear reactors for peaceful and power generating needs……..
India is also expanding its ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes, including more powerful nuclear weapons, according to a U.S.-based think tank that cited satellite imagery taken last April of a gas centrifuge facility under construction at the Rare Materials Plant near Mysore in Karnataka.
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) published a report in 2013 stating that this new facility “could significantly increase India’s ability to produce highly enriched uranium for military purposes, including more powerful nuclear weapons.”
Pakistan, too, is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and built its first nuclear power plant near Karachi with equipment and materials supplied mainly by western nations in the early 1970s. Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had promised in 1965 that if India built nuclear weapons then Pakistan would too, “even if we have to eat grass.”……http://www.journalpioneer.com/Opinion/Columnists/2014-01-26/article-3591613/The-evolution-of-South-Asia%26rsquo%3Bs-nuclear-powers/1
Renewable energy projects worth Rs 30,000 crore being implemented in Madhya Pradesh Economic Times India By Shreya Jai, ET Bureau | 23 Jan, 2014 NEW DELHI: Renewable energy projects worth Rs 30,000 crore are being implemented in Madhya Pradesh, which have quietly reached out to companies and attracted GE, Reliance Power, Spanish wind major Gamesa and others, giving tough competition to Gujarat in the sector.
India test-fires nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missileRajat Pandit,TNN | Jan 7, 2014, NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday morning test-fired its nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile, which has a strike range of 350-km, from the integrated test range at Chandipur off the Odisha coast as part of “a scenario-based live launch training exercise”. ……
Renewable Energy Prospects Bright: Report By Express News Service THIRUVANANTHAPURAM1st January 2014 Kerala can meet over 95 per cent of its energy demand using renewable energy sources by the year 2050, according to a report released the other day.
The Energy Report – Kerala, prepared by WWF-India and the World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE) Pune, is a state-specific report that provides a vision for a 100-per cent renewable and sustainable energy supply in another three decades.
After modelling energy demand scenarios for various sectors for the projected time period, the report analyses the potential of various renewable energy sources in the state.
One significant contributor to the future renewable energy mix – and for the moment unpopular, at least in the current political scene – is solar power.
The estimation of solar power potential in Kerala, as per the report, is around 44,456 MW.
Out of this, 31,145 MW alone can be got from rooftops of households and commercial establishments.
“This is after factoring in exclusion factors such as shaded areas of roofs and tiled roofs,” World Institute of Sustainable Energy director general G M Pillai said while presenting the report.
“Existing buildings in Kerala can also revamp their roofs to accommodate solar panels.”
Similarly, the report has come out with figures for wind (off-shore and onshore), small hydro, bio-energy and wave power potential…….http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Renewable-Energy-Prospects-Bright-Report/2014/01/01/article1976387.ece
AAP to support nuclear plant stir, says Bhushanhttp://www.indianexpress.com/news/aap-to-support-nuclear-plant-stir-says-bhushan/1213139/ PTI : Tirunelveli, Mon Dec 30 2013 AAP leader Prashant Bhushan Sunday said the party always supported the cause of people’s movement against nuclear energy at Kudankulam and would always be with the people. Addressing members of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy at Idinthakarai near the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Bhushan assured his party’s support to the ongoing agitation against KNPP. “We always opposed nuclear energy and also the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. We supported the cause of PMANE in difficult times,” he said.
“The national political scenario was looking for a substitute to BJP and Congress. Both these national parties are tainted. So the people of our country installed AAP in power at Delhi,” he said.
Cost of nuclear power proving high, DAE in a fix http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cost-of-nuclear-power-proving-high-DAE-in-a-fix/articleshow/27920490.cms PTI | Dec 25, 2013, NEW DELHI: As the cost of electricity generation by nuclear power plants, to be set up with the help of French and American companies, is turning out to be on the higher side, the department of atomic energy is in a fix over how to bring down the cost.
On one hand, it is involved in hard negotiations with the companies and on the other hand, sources said, if the cost per unit turns out to be too expensive, then it may not even pursue the project with collaborators
Currently, the DAE is in negotiations with French company Areva to build six EPR reactors of 1650 MW each at Jaitapur. Sources pointed out that initial estimates state the cost of the project to be around Rs 27-30 crore per megawatt and the cost per unit to be around Rs 9 per unit in 2021. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai last month, RK Sinha, DAE secretary, had said a competitive per unit tariff of Rs 6.50 has been estimated in the year of completion of Jaitapur project in 2020-21.
In the case of Mithi Virdhi project where American company Westinghouse Electric is providing AP-1000 reactors, the cost per megawatt is coming to around Rs 40 crores while the cost per unit is around Rs 12.
Although this project is yet to reach the advanced negotiations stage, the DAE has already signed an early works agreement with Westinghouse Electric. The DAE is skeptical about the proposal due to its high cost. It states that the cost per unit from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) unit 1 and 2 is around Rs 3.50 to Rs 4 per unit.
“If we take inflation into consideration, even then the cost is very high. We are also answerable to people. Plus, there is a lot of opposition to nuclear projects where we have foreign collaborators. If nothing works out, then we will, perhaps, have to back out because of the high electricity generation cost from the project,” a senior DAE official said.
India test-fires nuclear-capable Agni-III missile By PTI | 23 Dec, 2013, BALASORE:India today successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable Agni-III ballistic missile with a strike range of more than 3,000 km as part of a user trial by the Army from Wheeler Island off Odisha coast…http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-test-fires-nuclear-capable-agni-iii-missile/articleshow/27799307.cms.
Harsh criticism for India’s nuclear safety regime December 21, 2013 Ben Doherty Delhi: India’s nuclear safety regime is “fraught with grave risks”, a parliamentary committee has reported, saying the country’s nuclear regulator was weak, under-resourced and “slow in adopting international benchmarks and good practices in the areas of nuclear and radiation operation”.
The bipartisan Public Accounts Committee tabled a scathing 81-page report in India’s parliament, critical of the decades-long delay in establishing an independent regulator for the nuclear-armed country. Continue reading
India, Canada aim for closer ties , THE HINDU, SANDEEP DIKSHIT , 15 DEC 13 After 40 years, the countries are entering into partnership in civil nuclear energy
India and Canada are aiming for closer partnerships in civil nuclear energy and hydrocarbons with the dissipation of distrust that had kept them estranged for 40 years after India conducted a nuclear test in 1974……relationship would be supplemented by a “collaborative approach” in the civil nuclear sector, decks for which have been cleared with the signing of a civil nuclear accord and finalising of the administrative arrangements, High Commissioner for Canada to India Stewart Beck told The Hindu…….
“We are now putting in force a civil nuclear partnership. India has several reactors derived from Canadian technology but since then it has gone on its own path of development. We are now in a situation where the two can talk to each other. There is a huge need in India of Uranium which we can sell,” said Mr. Beck……http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-canada-aim-for-close-partnership-in-civil-nuclear-deal/article5462847.ece
HC rejects PIL for jobs for land losers in Nuclear plant TNN | Dec 15, 2013, AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has turned down a PIL demanding jobs for families whose land had been taken over for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Kakrapar in south Gujarat. The court rejected the PIL on the ground that the petition was filed 24 years after the project took off and nearly 40 years after the land was acquired.
Residents of Moticher and Unchamata villageshad filed the PIL and sought the high court’s direction to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to give jobs to members of the families whose land was acquired for the project in 1976. They cited a resolution passed in 1989 that the project-affected families will be benefited by granting members jobs in the plant. ………http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/HC-rejects-PIL-for-jobs-for-land-losers-in-Nuclear-plant/articleshow/27419606.cms
some nuclear projects in India have come close to “disaster.” ….The fact that there is no clear record on accidents or potential disasters at India’s nuclear power plants raises important questions about the transparency of information on the issue.
A nuclear disaster like Fukushima would have dire consequences in heavily populated India. Memories of the Bhopal tragedy, which killed an estimated 10,000 people in 1984, are still fresh, and so is the mismanagement of the fallout by the government of the day, including letting the senior management of U.S. firm Union Carbide escape scot free.
Lessons from Japan for India on Nuclear Energy Fukushima has given energy-hungry India pause. Are its nuclear safety standards up to scratch? The Diplomat By Kabir Taneja December 13, 2013 The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has become the focal point of public debate in India over the pursuit of civil nuclear energy on a large scale. The run-up to the plant’s inauguration had been marred by protests from locals and the anti-nuclear lobby, who question the safety of the plant and have taken the issue all the way to the Supreme Court……
The outcome of Fukushima has also put the spotlight on the aggressive, globally active and well-funded nuclear energy lobby. For many in Tokyo, a disaster caused largely by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake in 2011 opened a can of worms over how the government regulated its nuclear backyard. This issue of regulation has gained momentum as more and more people question the conventional wisdom of nuclear energy being a safe bet. Continue reading
No proposal to relax liability clause in nuclear act: Govt http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/no-proposal-to-relax-liability-clause-in-nuclear-act-govt_896399.html 13 Dec 13 New Delhi: The government on Thursday said there was no proposal to relax the liability clause of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act 2010, as demanded by foreign collaborators assisting the country in its nuclear power generation pursuit. Responding to questions over the issue, V Narayanasamy, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said there is no proposal to relax the provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010 to benefit American firm Westinghouse Corporation or any other company. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is negotiating with Westinghouse Corporation to build nuclear plant reactors in Mithi Virdhi, Gujarat.
Many foreign collaborators, like France and Russia, have been pressing for relaxation of the liability clause of the act, which enables the operators (NPCIL) to sue the suppliers (the foreign collaborators) in case of any nuclear disaster.
Canada wants relaxation in India’s nuclear liabilities rules THE HINDU, 1 Dec 13 Unless the provisions regarding a plant operators’ liabilities in case of nuclear damages are relaxed, foreign companies will not come in a big way, a senior Canadian government official has said.
“The way the liability has been framed in the Civil Nuclear Liability Act deviates from the global standards and it is our view if it is not modified, it is hard to see any foreign supplier coming in a big way to India,” Canadian consulate general Richard Bale told PTI on the sidelines of the nuclear summit here over the weekend.
As per the Act, an operator of a nuclear plant (so far only NPCIL) will be liable for damages worth up to Rs. 1,500 crore. However, there is a provision for the right of recourse for the operator. If written into the contract, the operator can claim the liabilities from the manufacturer and supplier. Most of the suppliers, domestic as well as international, are concerned over whether they will have to bear over Rs. 1,500 crore towards in the event of nuclear disaster.
“It is the government’s prerogative to determine what the public policy should be. But on the one hand the government is saying it wants to expand the nuclear power programme, on the other they have put in place a framework that makes it difficult to achieve that goal,” Mr. Bale said…… http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/canada-wants-relaxation-in-indias-nuclear-liabilities-rules/article5410644.ece
Bomb explodes near Indian nuclear reactor,THE AUSTRALIAN, ROBIN PAGNAMENTA THE TIMES NOVEMBER 29, 2013 A BOMB has exploded close to India’s biggest nuclear power station, killing six people and prompting a police investigation into whether it was linked with anti-nuclear protests in the area. The device exploded in a village close to Kudankulam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, destroying at least two houses and seriously injuring three people. Among the six killed were a woman and three young children.
Vijayendra Bidari, a police spokesman, said the house in which it exploded was being used as a “bomb-making facility” in a village where anti-nuclear activists had been operating. He said the bomb apparently detonated accidentally as the suspected activists were building it. Two unexploded bombs were recovered from the site. The blast occurred about 1km from the Russian-built plant, which started operating last month – six years later than was planned – despite protests from locals who fear a nuclear accident.
Kudankulam lies in a seismically active area and the coastal zone was affected by the 2004 tsunami. Activists fear there could be a repeat of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
SP Udayakumar, the founder of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, the main anti-nuclear group in the region, denied involvement in the bomb-making. “We made it clear immediately that we have nothing to do with the bomb blasts,” he said.
- Mr Udayakumar said he believed gangs associated with illegal mining were behind the blasts. – ………:
India’s state-owned monopoly Nuclear Power Corp. had signed an initial pact with Areva in 2010 for the supply and installation of equipment needed for building two nuclear power reactors of 1,650 megawatts each at Jaitapur in the western state of Maharashtra. The plan is to eventually build a total of six reactors with a combined capacity of 9.9 gigawatts, which would be the biggest nuclear power complex in India at a single location.
But the cost of the equipment has risen due to the higher cost of borrowing as well as a slide in the rupee’s value against the U.S. dollar this year, which would more than double the cost of electricity generation from an initial estimate of about 4 rupees (6.4 U.S. cents) per unit.
“The price of electricity from the project once it becomes operational can not be more than 6.50 rupees,” said R.K. Sinha, chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, the country’s top nuclear policy making body. “Negotiations are still on.”
An Areva India executive, who declined to be named, said negotiations on the sale of the equipment are still under way, while Areva India chairman and managing director Erwan Hinault didn’t immediately respond to emailed queries.
Nuclear Power Corp. had earlier expected to sign an agreement with Areva for the supply of equipment for the first two reactors by end-2012, but negotiations remained inconclusive. Global nuclear equipment companies such as Areva, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Westinghouse Electric Co. have been keen to capitalize on India’s plans to spend billions of dollars to boost its nuclear power capacity. More than half of India’s 228 gigawatts of total power generation capacity is based on coal, which is in short supply…. http://online.wsj.com/article/DN-CO-20131128-003020.html?dsk=
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