India Will Never Sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Says Sushma http://www.news18.com/news/india/india-will-never-sign-nuclear-non-proliferation-treaty-says-sushma-1271759.html CNN-News18 July 20, 2016, New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday said that India will never sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
While making statement in the Lok Sabha, she said, India will continue to engage with China over its opposition to India’s entry to the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
“If someone does not agree to something once, it doesn’t mean that they will never agree to it. We are continuing our efforts in engaging with China on this issue,” the foreign minister said on India’s bid to gain entry to the NSG.
Swaraj’s statements on the NSG issue came in response to queries from Opposition members on the status of India’s bid for entry into the elite nuclear trading group.
India Nuclear Suppliers Group Membership Depends on Signing NPT http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160722/1043439110/india-npt-signing.html No country which is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) can become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj told the lawmakers that India will not sign the NPT.“It is worth mentioning that China does not make the rules for how to become new members of the group. The international community has forged a consensus long ago that the NPT is the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime. No country should or can put itself opposite to the NPT,” Lu Kang was cited as saying by The Times of India.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970 with the aim to prevent the spread of nuclear weaponry. Three states, namely India, Pakistan and Israel, denied to sign the treaty. North Korea withdrew from NPT in 2003.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group is a group of nuclear supplier countries whose aim is to prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, equipment and technology which could be used to produce nuclear weapons. As of 2016, the NSG has 48 members, including China
A.P. set to be country’s nuclear power hub http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ap-set-to-be-countrys-nuclear-power-hub/article8876943.ece SUHASINI HAIDAR
Govt. is pinning its mega plans for generating the ‘clean’ energy on coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Weeks after the government announced that U.S. company Westinghouse’s Nuclear Power Project (NPP), planned in Gujarat’s Mithi Virdi, is being moved to Andhra Pradesh, sources confirmed to The Hindu that Russian-owned Rosatom will build its next phase of six reactors in Andhra Pradesh as well.
With other States like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Maharashtra facing local protests over NPPs, the government is now pinning its mega plans for generating the ‘clean’ energy on coastal Andhra Pradesh. In fact, if all the projects under consideration from Russia, the U.S. and NPCIL were to actually go through, NPPs in Andhra could account for more than 30,000 MW of the Modi government’s goal of 63,000 MW installed capacity by 2031. The site for the next set of six Russian reactors was discussed during A.P. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s recent visit to Russia, where he met Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev.
Sources told The Hindu the project site identified, believed to be Kavali in Nellore district, could be announced during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India in October. “It’s huge,” said Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who had led the delegation to Russia. “In Andhra Pradesh, six nuclear centres are going to be created, totalling thousands of megawatts in capacity. Of course, Andhra Pradesh will have both American and Russian participation in nuclear energy generation, but the Russians will be the first to “Make in India” in the nuclear sphere in Andhra,” Ms. Sitharaman told The Hindu.
The “American participation” referred to is the plan for Toshiba-Westinghouse to set up 6 AP1000 reactors of 1,100 megawatts each, a proposal that had run into trouble in Gujarat due to “stiff protests from farmers” during the land acquisition process for 777 hectares, a senior official in the Gujarat government said.
“In addition, Tata, Adani and Essar, which are the largest power producers in the State, were never comfortable with another giant plant being set up in the State,” the official said. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington in June 2016, NPCIL and Westinghouse had announced the move to Andhra Pradesh, with a commitment to complete the commercial agreement for 6 reactors by June 2017.
Meanwhile, another Russian project that has been hanging fire for years, to build 6 ‘VVER’ (Water-Water Energy) Reactors of 1000 MWe in West Bengal’s Haripur may also be moved to Andhra Pradesh due to local protests. “We are looking for a site in some coastal area of Andhra Pradesh where a similar reactor, which was meant for Haripur, will come up,” Dr. Sekhar Basu, now Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, had told reporters last September, although West Bengal officials told The Hindua final decision has not been taken.
State officials hope Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal’s loss will soon be Andhra Pradesh’s gain, and the State already has the Kovvada nuclear park project for 6 1000MW reactors in Srikakulam under way. However, the coast isn’t completely clear. Kovvada has seen some protests of the kind seen at Kudankulam, Mithi Virdi and Haripur. While many local residents are unwilling to part with land, others have concerns over environmental hazards, especially given that some of the sites identified for nuclear projects are in a seismically sensitive zone, and have seen tremors in the past.
Confirming that several projects are only in “preliminary stages”, the Andhra Pradesh government’s media adviser Parkala Prabhakar told The Hindu: “The Central government has asked some more sites for other plants. We have asked the Collectors of Prakasam and Nellore to spot the sites. Once those sites are identified, the NPCIL will come for inspection to check the compatibility,” indicating that while Andhra’s nuclear power-hub dreams are in sight, they may take a while to come to fruition. (With Appaji Reddem in Vijayawada & Mahesh Langa in Ahmedabad)
Thanks to solar power, this airport is no longer paying for electricity. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/07/thanks-to-solar-power-this-airport-is-no-longer-paying-for-electricity/ Jenny Soffel Website Editor, World Economic Forum 19 July 2016 [excellent graphs] If you fly over Cochin International Airport in Kerala, India, you will find yourself staring down at over 46,000 solar panels. The airport, India’s seventh busiest, last year became the first airport in the world to run completely on solar power.
It started as a pilot project in 2013 with 400 panels on the airport rooftop, an attempt by management to lower the airport’s energy bills. After the installation of a 12 megawatt solar plant, the airport was able to run entirely on solar power.
The airport has now stopped paying for its electricity altogether, and even sends energy back to the grid.
Solar energy has become a cheap option in India – the price has dropped to a similar level to that of coal.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the country’s investment target for the source of renewable energy will be increased to $100 billion, five times greater than current levels, scaling solar power to more than 10% of India’s total energy sector by 2022.
The successful project has inspired other airports both nationally and internationally to invest in renewable energy. Kolkata’s international airport in India is now also looking to build a solar plant to reduce its electric bill by a third.
South Africa recently opened the continent’s first solar-powered airport in George, in the Western Cape. It’s expected to save an excess of 1.2 million litres of water every year, and will contribute to around 40% of the airport’s electricity needs.
India’s first insurance cover to NPCIL aims to transfer liability risk from nuclear suppliers, International Business Times (IBT) July 3, 2016 By Prabha K S National Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), the government-owned nuclear power generation company, received India’s first insurance policy that may offset liability risks seen as a bottleneck by foreign nuclear plant suppliers, reported IANS.
The policy, according to the report, will be applicable to all the plants of NPCIL. It covers their liability to the public in the event of accidents specified in the policy and the power plant’s “right of recourse against the equipment suppliers.”
The reinstatement premium will be decided after a claim is filed based on the insurer’s capacity to undertake further risks, said the official……He also added that the policy is devoid of ‘policy excess’, defined as the first amount uncovered by the policy and hence liable to be paid by the company……
The announcement comes after NPCIL paid Rs. 50,000 to each of the six workers who suffered burn injuries at the Kudankulam nuclear plant in May 2014 on successful intervention by National Human Rights Commission, as reported by the Indian Express.
NPCIL is currently mired in allegations of misleading people about the safety of the Kovvada plant in Andhra Pradesh.
Earlier, General Electric chairman Jeffrey Immelt also expressed reservations on building a nuclear plant in India, citing the liability law. http://www.ibtimes.co.in/indias-first-insurance-cover-npcil-aims-transfer-liability-risk-nuclear-suppliers-685317
Nuclear plants insured http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nuclear-plants-insured/article8804348.ece, 4 July 16 India’s first insurance policy covering public liability to an atomic power plant operator has been issued to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) but the reinstat-ement of insurance value post a claim will be decided later, industry officials said.
“We recently got the insurance policy covering all our atomic power plants. The total premium came around Rs. 100 crore for a risk cover of Rs. 1,500 crore,” S.K. Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director, NPCIL, said.
The policy complies with all the provisions of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLND), said a known insurance industry official.
The Central government had announced in June 2015 the setting up of the Rs. 1,500-crore India Nuclear Insurance Pool to be managed by national reinsurer GIC Re.
The insurance policy was issued by the country’s largest non-life insurer New India Assurance Company Ltd.
The policy would cover the liability towards public as a consequence of any nuclear accident in the plants covered under the policy and also the right of recourse of NPCIL against equipment suppliers. The insurance coverage will be for all the NPCIL’s plants— like a floater cover.
Queried about the reinstatement premium, the official said it would be decided post a claim based on the capacity — to underwrite the risk — available with the insurers.
PM Modi lands World Bank’s record 1 trillion dollars loan for mega solar power project The World Bank has signed an agreement with India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) to mobilise investments worth $1 trillion by 2030. IANS India Today, by Arpan RaiNew Delhi, June 30, 2016 The World Bank on Thursday signed an agreement with India-led International Solar Alliance (ISA) to mobilise investments worth $1 trillion by 2030 to help fund projects to increase solar energy use around the world.
The agreement, establishing the World Bank Group as a financial partner for 121-nation ISA, was signed here in the presence of visiting World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal.
The ISA was launched at the Paris United Nations Climate Change Conference in November by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande.
WHAT ALL DOES THE AGREEMENT INCLUDE?
As part of the agreement, the Bank will develop a roadmap to mobilise financing for development and deployment of affordable solar energy, and work with other multilateral development banks and financial institutions to develop financing instruments to support solar development.
On the occasion, the multilateral lender also announced that it planned to provide more than $1 billion to support India’s initiative to expand solar energy generation.
WHY IS THE MOVE A GRAND INVESTMENT FOR WORLD BANK?
The solar investments for India combined would be the Bank’s largest financing of solar energy projects for any country in the world to date, it said.
India’s plans to virtually triple the share of renewable energy by 2030 will both transform the country’s energy supply and have far-reaching global implications in the fight against climate change………http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pm-modi-lands-world-banks-record-1-trillion-dollars-loan-for-mega-solar-power-project/1/704572.html
Pakistan, India exchange information on nuclear facilities http://dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/01-Jan-06/pakistan-india-exchange-information-on-nuclear-facilities ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Sunday exchanged lists of their nuclear facilities on Sunday, a requirement every January 1 under an accord in which they promised not to attack each other’s nuclear installations.
“The governments of Pakistan and India today exchanged lists of their respective nuclear installations and facilities in accordance with Article II of the Agreement on Prohibition of Attacks Against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between Pakistan and India of December 31, 1988,” a Foreign Office statement said.
Zaheer A. Janjua, Director of the India Desk in Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs handed over the list to an officer of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad at the Foreign Office at 11:00am PST, the statement said.
India handed over their list to Muhammad Khalid Jamali, First Secretary of the Pakistan High Commission at the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi at 11:30am IST, it added. The statement did not give any details of which installations and facilities are mentioned in the lists. The list usually includes civilian nuclear power plants and gives the exact location of each such installation.
Top foreign ministry officials from Pakistan, led by Foreign Secretary Riaz Muhammad Khan will meet Indian officials on January 17 and 18 in New Delhi for talks on Kashmir and other issues. Railway officials are also slated to meet in New Delhi on January 5 and 6 to discuss reopening a rail link between Munabao and Khokhrapar, which was terminated after a 1965 war between the two countries.
GE Hitachi reactors don’t have a reference plant, Basu says
GE calls for channeling nuclear liability to plant operators
India won’t buy untested GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy’s atomic reactors, reflecting safety concerns, the country’s top atomic-energy bureaucrat said.
“Right now they have offered us reactors that do not have a reference plant,” Sekhar Basu, secretary at India’s Department of Atomic Energy, said in a phone interview. “We will not buy a reactor that doesn’t have a reference plant.”
India’s reservations come months after General Electric Co. Chairman Jeffrey Immelt said his company won’t risk building a nuclear plant in India, citing the nation’s nuclear liability law, which exposes equipment suppliers to claims and litigation if there is an accident. The law has stood in the way of India’s nuclear expansion plans, as reactor suppliers including GE and Westinghouse Electric Co. weigh risks of doing business in the country.
- “GE Hitachi continues to have a strong interest in providing our technology to India for the eventual construction of multiple” economic simplified boiling-water reactors, or ESBWRs, the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We believe the path forward requires a sustainable regulatory environment, which would include a nuclear-liability law that channels liability to plant operators consistent with global best practices.”…….
- EDF has a pact to build a plant in the western state of Maharashtra, while the Russian-designed reactors are being used for a plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-29/india-won-t-buy-untested-ge-hitachi-reactors-atomic-chief-says
China maintains its opposition to India joining a group of nations seeking to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons by controlling access to sensitive technology, said the head of the arms control department in China’s Foreign Ministry.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) met this week in Seoul, but China said it would not bend the rules and allow India membership as it had not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the main global arms control pact.
“Applicant countries must be signatories of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT),” Wang Qun, the head of arms control department in China’s Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying in Seoul on Thursday night.
“This is a pillar, not something that China set. It is universally recognized by the international community,” Wang said according to a statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry on Friday.
Opponents argue that granting India membership would further undermine efforts to prevent proliferation. It would also infuriate India’s rival Pakistan, an ally of China’s, which has responded to India’s membership bid with one of its own.
Pakistan joining would be unacceptable to many, given its track record. The father of its nuclear weapons program ran an illicit network for years that sold nuclear secrets to countries including North Korea and Iran. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-nuclear-china-idUSKCN0ZA0IF
“I have not seen the US statement supporting India. But the US is one of those who made the rule that non-NPT countries should not join the Nuclear Suppliers Group,” she said.
“According to my understanding, it (entry of new members) is not on the agenda of the NSG meeting in Seoul. The door is open for the admission of the non-NPT members. It is never closed. It is open. But the members of the NSG should stay focused on whether the criteria should be changed and whether non-NPT members should be admitted into the NSG”, she added.
Talking to journalists about the implications of India’s membership, the Chinese official said, “If the non-proliferation regime is changed how can we explain the Iranian nuclear treaty. We have North Korean issues there. So this concerns the core issue whether NPT and non-proliferation system could be impacted by this.”
On Monday, the United States gave a fresh push to India’s membership by asking members of the NSG to support India’s entry. White House Press Secretary josh Earnest said, “We believe, and this has been US policy for some time, that India is ready for membership and the United States calls on participating governments to support India’s application at the plenary session of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)”……
China has also been batting for its close ally Pakistan’s entry if NSG extends any exemption for India.
The NSG looks after critical issues relating to the nuclear sector and its members are allowed to trade in and export nuclear technology. Membership of the grouping will help India significantly expand its atomic energy sector. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/china-takes-swipe-at-us-over-indias-nuke-club-nsg-bid-1421679
The cost of nuclear diplomacy, THE HINDU, SUVRAT RAJU, 20 JUNE 16 The government’s decision to let Westinghouse build six nuclear reactors in India smacks not only of arbitrary use of executive authority but is also financially imprudent
In their recent joint statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama “welcomed the start of preparatory work… in India for six AP1000 reactors to be built by Westinghouse…” Judging by the cost of similar reactors under construction in the U.S., these six reactors may cost as much as Rs.4 lakh crore. This makes the deal potentially the largest commercial contract in the offing between the two countries.
Economically unviable When the United Progressive Alliance government announced its intention to start work on two reactors each from Westinghouse and General Electric (GE) in the 12th Plan period (2012-2017), it did little to pretend that these contracts made sense on their own merits. Instead, as the former chairperson of the Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar, explained, India had “to keep in mind the commercial interests of foreign countries and of the companies there” and was obliged to purchase these reactors in return for U.S. diplomatic support on other issues.
Last year, GE backed out of this arrangement citing concerns about India’s liability law. This was good riddance; GE was offering India an untested design that it has not yet managed to sell anywhere in the world. But the government’s decision to deepen India’s investment in Westinghouse — even as negative news about the company has accumulated — makes little sense.
In April, Toshiba, which acquired Westinghouse in 2006, announced a $2.3 billion write-down in its value, largely because of persistent concerns about the economic viability of Westinghouse’s AP1000 design. Of more than a dozen orders that Westinghouse expected from within the U.S. a decade ago, only four have materialised. Just last month, a utility called Florida Power and Light postponed its plans for two AP1000 reactors by at least four years. And in February, the Tennessee Valley Authority, a U.S. government company, cancelled its plans for two AP1000 reactors explaining that this was “the fiscally responsible action”.
- the government has persisted in making concessions to Westinghouse. In February, it ratified the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation” (CSC) for Nuclear Damage that contradicts India’s domestic liability law and protects nuclear suppliers from liability for an accident. Now, in the event of a disaster, Indian courts may find it difficult to exercise jurisdiction over Westinghouse that is not based in India and could point to India’s international commitments under the CSC to block any potential claims against it.
- For example, Dow Chemicals has rebuffed attempts to make it contribute to a clean-up in Bhopal by arguing that Indian courts have “no jurisdiction over it”. And in a cautionary tale about how flawed international agreements can subvert the domestic legal system, in 2011, an international arbitration tribunal awarded White Industries Australia Ltd. AU$4 million under a bilateral investment treaty even as its dispute with the Indian government was sub judice in India’s Supreme Court……..http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-cost-of-nuclear-diplomacy/article8748864.ece
The Nuclear Suppliers Group’s Critical India Decision An upcoming meeting will decide whether India will be allowed to join. Member states should think carefully. The Diplomat, By Mark Hibbs June 18, 2016 Beginning on Monday, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, or NSG – 48 countries that export most of the world’s nuclear material, equipment, and technology – will meet in Seoul to decide whether India should now be allowed to join. The United States has strongly urged the NSG to say yes.
The NSG should not say yes next week. It should tell India that there are good reasons to include it, but also that the group needs to complete an internal fact-finding and consensus-forming process in part to prepare the NSG for the consequences of possible Indian membership.
The United States has argued that bringing India into the group would be good for nuclear nonproliferation. So far it isn’t clear what the net overall benefit would be, especially because the White House is prepared to go forward without India having made non-proliferation commitments that many others in the group have made and virtually all say are important.
All NSG members are parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT. For the group’s 43 states without nuclear arms, NPT membership commits them not to possess these weapons. For the five states in the NSG with nuclear weapons, NPT membership means that they have legally committed themselves to nuclear disarmament and not to assist others in obtaining nuclear weapons. In addition, NSG members have taken other important steps toward a nuclear weapon-free future, by joining the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), by joining treaties that create nuclear weapons-free zones, and/or by permitting the International Atomic Energy Agency to verify that no aspect of their nuclear programs are being used to produce uranium or plutonium for nuclear weapons.
India is a nuclear-armed state. India is not a party to the NPT, it is not a party to a nuclear weapon-free zone treaty, it will not join the CTBT, and it will not make legal commitments identical to NPT articles concerning its nuclear arms. NSG members therefore are compelled to think harder than in previous cases about what will be the consequences of admitting India into the group. Those consequences include the impact on current NSG rules that discourage assistance to nuclear weapons programs in four non-NPT countries, as well as the impact on global efforts to strengthen specific NPT norms……..
The United States advocates Indian NSG membership for commercial and geostrategic reasons largely unrelated to nuclear export controls. Neither ground justifies forcing a decision now. In 2008, the NSG elected to permit civilian nuclear trade with India, meaning that India can import a raft of reactors its wants to buy from vendor Westinghouse. ……http://thediplomat.com/2016/06/the-nuclear-suppliers-groups-critical-india-decision/
- Farmers formed cooperative to install solar panels in their fields
- Solar panels power irrigation, surplus power sold to electricity board
- Project funded by farmers and non-profit group IWMI
Around seven months ago, about a dozen farmers in Ramabhai’s village about 90 km from Ahmedabad came together to form a solar cooperative and set up solar panels in the fields to generate electricity.
“We used to spend 500 rupees on diesel for pumping sets for drawing water for irrigation. But now we do it with solar energy,” Rambhai said.
“We also make money by selling solar power when we not irrigating our fields. We can sell excess electricity to the power board for Rs. 4.63 per unit,” he added…….http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/with-solar-power-a-gujarat-village-is-irrigating-its-fields-for-free-1408800
U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed at a June 7 summit that U.S. nuclear reactor maker Westinghouse Electric, a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba, would build power plants in the South Asian nation. In a statement following their meeting in Washington, Modi and Obama said they welcomed the announcement by the Nuclear Power Corp. of India and Westinghouse that they would finalize a contract by June 2017. The two companies had said they would immediately begin the work of designing reactors and selecting locations.
As the nation opens its market for nuclear plants, competition is likely to intensify between the U.S., France, Japan and other countries seeking a greater market share.
France reached an agreement early this year to start a development project in western India in 2017. Although a formal agreement has yet to be signed, the country will compete with the U.S. to become the first Western country in about 40 years to deliver a reactor to India. Japan also reached a broad agreement with India in late 2015……..http://asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20160616-POWER-PERFORMERS-of-the-Asia300/Business/Nuclear-power-plant-builders-see-new-opportunities-in-India
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