India Could Get Billions from the U.S. To Build a Nuclear Reactor, Fortune, by Reuters SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 If a lending freeze doesn’t get in the way.
India is negotiating with U.S. Export-Import Bank for an $8-9 billion loan to finance six Westinghouse Electric nuclear reactors, two sources familiar with the talks said, although a lending freeze at the trade agency threatens progress.
The mega-project, the result of warming U.S.-India ties in recent years, could open up billions of dollars of further investment in India’s nuclear power sector, ……..
The Westinghouse deal, however, is contingent on financing and Ex-Im cannot approve loans of more than $10 million, owing to a row in the U.S. Congress over board appointments stemming from a campaign by conservatives to close the government lender……..
“Financing of the reactors is the critical piece; everything is down to this,” said one source involved in protracted negotiations to build the reactors in the south-eastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
The source, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said Indian negotiators and Ex-Im officials were trying to set the terms of the financial package in the hope that the freeze on the bank, affecting potential sales of several major U.S. companies, would lift soon.
Westinghouse is owned by Japan’s Toshiba Corp but is based in the United States……..
In addition to U.S. Ex-Im, India is also seeking funding from Japan and South Korea for the reactors to be built in Kovvada, two sources familiar with the talks said……..
While negotiators are unlikely to nail down a contract under Obama, who steps down in January, their challenge will be to come up with concessional financing terms that will make Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactors affordable.
Westinghouse did not respond to a request for comment, while a U.S. Ex-Im Bank spokeswoman declined to comment. An NPCIL official said the firm had nothing to say at this stage…….
ndia is also in talks with Russia to build four more reactors on top of the two already completed in Kudankulam in southern Tamil Nadu state, as well as with France’s EDF for the construction of six reactors of 1650 MW each in western India, which would be the world’s biggest nuclear power complex.
But talks with Westinghouse are more advanced than those with the French, with the two sides aiming to sign an early works agreement next month, sources familiar with their progress said.
A delegation from the U.S.-based firm visited New Delhi earlier this month to finalize the pact that would include the timeline and up-front costs such as land acquisition and site preparation, said a source familiar with the matter. http://fortune.com/2016/09/22/india-nuclear-power/
Hybrid Solar and Wind Systems Attract Turbine Makers in India http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-05/hybrid-solar-and-wind-systems-attract-turbine-makers-in-india Anindya Upadhyay September 6, 2016
Gamesa planning 50-megawatt wind-solar hybrid project
Combined power generation can boost a project’s reliabilityWind turbine makers in India are looking at building more renewable energy projects that would combine solar and wind in a bid to provide a reliable and cost-effective power supply.Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA, the largest wind-turbine maker in India by market share, is preparing to announce its first wind-solar project within the next two months. Suzlon Energy Ltd., India’s largest domestic manufacturer of wind turbines, says it expects to focus on hybrids starting next year.“We feel that hybrid projects will make 50 to 60 percent of our sales over the next three years,” Ramesh Kymal, the chief executive officer of Gamesa’s India operations, said in an interview in New Delhi. “In a couple of months an announcement of a hybrid project from Gamesa can be expected.”The major advantage of a solar-wind hybrid is a boost to the reliability of the system as power generation from the two different sources supplement each other. Combining the two technologies and sharing a grid connection can also increase capacity, developers say. Hybrids hold an additional appeal in India where land acquisition remains a challenge.
India aims to install 10 gigawatts of hybrid capacity by 2022, according to a draft policyreleased earlier this year by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
- Interest in hybrids is spreading. In 2014, Toshiba Corp. and Mitsui & Co. announced the completion of a solar and wind project in Japan’s Aichi prefecture. That project, developed in cooperation with six other companies including Toray Industries Inc., consists of 50 megawatts of solar capacity and 6 megawatts of wind. Canberra-based Windlab Systems Pty Ltd. and Japan’s Eurus Energy Holdings Cop. are building a large-scale hybrid solar-wind plant in the state of Queensland.“A common grid infrastructure for wind and solar installations will bring stability in the grid and will help avoid curtailment and seasonality of energy production,” Tulsi Tanti, founder and chairman of Pune, India-based Suzlon Energy, said in an interview, adding that wind and solar are complementary.
Suzlon will focus more intensely on wind and solar hybrid projects beginning next year, with a target to win market share of more than 40 percent in the next five years, Tanti said. In the case of Gamesa, the Zamudio, Spain-based turbine manufacturer has already identified some projects owned by existing customers that could benefit by adding solar, Kymal said.
- Other developers have also shown interest. Inox Wind Ltd.’s wind sites in the Indian states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are all ideal for hybrid projects, said Devansh Jain, a director at Inox, adding that he’s waiting for the ministry’s policy to be finalized before moving forward.“Wind-solar hybrid projects will boost growth but will not be a fundamental game changer,” Jain said in a phone interview, saying the government’s auctions of wind projects will likely be the biggest driver of growth in the sector.
The interest in hybrid projects comes as India pushes aggressively to develop its clean energy capacity. Under a effort led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is aiming by 2022 to install 100 gigawatts of solar capacity and 60 gigawatts of wind power.
India installed a record 3.5 gigawatts of wind in the fiscal year ended March 31, according to the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association.
“Hybrid projects offer advantages in sharing of resources for construction and maintenance of a project, as well as power transmission,” according to Shantanu Jaiswal, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst in New Delhi.
India, Canada discuss civil-nuclear cooperation The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including civil-nuclear cooperation between the two countries, an official release issued said today. Indian Express By: PTI | New Delhi September 8, 2016 India and Canada have discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including the civil-nuclear cooperation between the two countries. The discussion was held during a meeting between Union Minister Jitendra Singh and visiting Canada Minister for Natural Resources, James Gordon Carr, here on Wednesday.
The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including civil-nuclear cooperation between the two countries, an official release issued said today. As a country with large energy requirements, India looks forward to promoting nuclear energy production at a significant scale and the two nations can jointly work to achieve this, said Singh, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office.
He referred to a common technological base of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) in which India and Canada are global leaders and it is an area offering opportunity of potential bilateral cooperation between the two countries……….
Singh referred to the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Canada in April 2015 during which a long term uranium procurement contract was signed by Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India with the Canadian Uranium producer CAMECO…….http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/india-canada-discuss-civil-nuclear-cooperation-3020552/
India, US set the ball rolling for Westinghouse’s nuclear plants By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, ET Bureau | Sep 01, 2016, NEW DELHI: India and the US moved closer to the planned construction of six reactors by American company Westinghouse at a proposed nuclear plant in Andhra Pradesh, with the two sides deciding to immediately commence the work on engineering and site design, and make an early conclusion of a competitive financing package.
India US to advance talks on building six nuclear reactors Under the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement signed in October 2008, two US companies would build 12 atomic reactors, each with a capacity of 1000 MWs. Indian Express By: PTI | New Delhi :August 30, 2016 India and the US on Tuesday agreed to move forward on building six nuclear reactors and discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the field of atomic power and space.
John Kerry, US Secretary of State, who is here for the 2nd Indo-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD), said his country would want its civil nuclear cooperation with India to take shape in setting up of reactors.
“We have agreed now to move forward on six Westing House nuclear reactors which will provide energy for six million Indians, not to mention the enormous number of jobs (it will create)……
Under the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement signed in October 2008, two US companies would build 12 atomic reactors, each with a capacity of 1000 MWs. However, the US has often raised concern about hurdles faced by American companies over a series of issues.
Its major concerns like the liability clause in the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010 has already been addressed and talks between the WestingHouse Co, which will build six reactors, and the Indian side are on, sources said. The two sides are also cooperating in the field of space. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/india-us-to-advance-talks-on-building-six-nuclear-reactors-3004675/
Indian Scientists Design Solar Tree to Save Space for Solar Power Generation VOA, 26 Aug 16 NEW DELHI— Indian scientists have designed a “solar tree” that they hope will help overcome one of the key challenges the country faces in the generation of solar power.
With photovoltaic panels placed at different levels on branches made of steel, “solar trees” could dramatically reduce the amount of land needed to develop solar parks.
“It takes about four-square meters of space to produce energy which otherwise would have required 400 square meters of space. So almost 100 times the space is saved, which as you know is very valuable,” said Daljit Singh Bedi, chief scientist at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi, whose laboratory in Kolkata developed the tree.
A scarce resource in India, acquisition of land to develop roads, factories and other infrastructure is a sensitive issue that has led to frequent and sometimes violent protests from displaced people.
Scientists estimate the energy generated by a solar tree would be sufficient to light up five homes. They say the space-saving tree would not only make it easier to increase solar power generation to light up homes and streets in cities, but also in rural areas where farmers are unwilling to give up large tracts of land for solar panel installations.
The solar tree will also harness more energy compared to rooftop panels. “This design, it facilitates placement of solar panels in a way that they are exposed more towards sun and that way they are able to harness 10 to 15 per cent more energy, which is more or less equivalent to one hour more than the conventional format,” said Bedi……http://www.voanews.com/a/indian-scientists-design-solar-tree-to-save-space-for-solar-power-generation/3481641.html
Is this because USA wants nuclear disarmament, or because USA wants to sell nuclear materials to the sub continent?
US urges India and Pakistan to sign and ratify nuclear test ban treaty Washington has welcomed Pakistan’s recent proposal to India for a bilateral agreement on nuclear weapons test ban, IBT By Nandini Krishnamoorthy August 24, 2016 The US has asked arch-rivals India and Pakistan to set aside their differences and sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Welcoming Pakistan’s recent proposal to India for a bilateral agreement on nuclear weapons test ban, Washington has urged the two countries to hold talks.
Mark Toner, the State Department deputy spokesperson, said: “We welcome this high-level dialogue between India and Pakistan, encourage both countries to engage in the dialogue and exercise restraint aimed at improving strategic stability.”……..
On Tuesday (23 August), Pakistan announced a fresh move to seek support for its NSGmembership bid. Syed Tariq Fatemi, special assistant to the prime minister on foreign affairs, embarked on a visit to Belarus and Kazakhstan to win their backing, The Hindu reported.
While India was kept out, Pakistan’s membership was not discussed during the plenary meeting of the NSG in Seoul in June. Although it has China on its side, it failed to get the backing of the US.http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/us-urges-india-pakistan-sign-ratify-nuclear-test-ban-treaty-1577733
India is better advised to put money instead into its abundant solar energy, which will definitely be less expensive and less risky. “Investing in new solar photovoltaic capacity would be a much lower-cost, significantly less environmentally harmful and far more sustainable alternative to the Mithi Virdi and Kovvada projects,”
Nuclear power costly, inefficient, SANKAR RAY | Fri, 12 Aug 2016- , Mumbai , dna Reactors reduced to status of old furniture as no new ones are being made With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barrack Obama, finalising the import of 12 AP1000 nuclear reactors plants – six from the Westinghouse Electric — for Mithi Virdi, Gujarat, and another six from the GE-Hitachi’s Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor for Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh, nuclear hawks have become super-active. The US Export-Import Bank is about to complete a financing package for the project. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) Westinghouse Electric too confirmed that engineering and site design work would begin shortly. Small wonder, anti–US hawks too have swung into action to nail the very concept of importing nuclear power reactors from the US, arguing that the cost from the US reactors is very high, estimated provisionally at $7.5 million per megawatt in stark contrast to $ 2.9 million of the Russian ones that are installed at Kudankulam.
Prof Sujay Basu, a doyen among energy experts and former — the first too – director, School of Energy Studies, Jadavpur University, expressed his chagrin against import of reactors. “First, the Kudankulam reactors were sold by Russia at distressed price. Second, reactor manufacture, from the very beginning of the new century, ceased to be a profitable business. American nuclear industry is worried for want of buyers and escalation of cost.
France tried to sell one or two reactors to Finland but backed out. Nowhere in the world, except Japan, are new reactors marketable without political lobbying. Energy gap cannot be narrowed by setting up more nuclear plants. In India, the more pressing problem is how to retire several ageing with effective disposal of nuclear hazards.” Indeed, almost all the components of the reactor were manufactured during the 1980s and were rendered surplus due to post-Chernobyl cancellation of over two dozen reactors after the mega-catastrophe in the twilight years of Soviet Union.
V T Padmanabhan, noted analyst and member of the Nuclear Consultancy Group, considered as a crusader for nuclear safety and health effects (genetic and somatic) of ionising radiation, divulged in countercurrents.org about six months ago that the Kudankulam reactor tripped 20 times and was off-grid for 468 days.
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP-1), the first reactor, built jointly by the NPCIL and Russia’s Atomstroyexport (ASE), is the only operating Generation-III pressurised water reactor (VVER-1000) the world over. During the 840 days of its grid connection since 22 October 2013, the reactor worked for 372 days, although this so-called brand new Russian machine, commissioned a year ago, underwent a seven-month-long overhaul since 24 June 2015 and achieved criticality in the afternoon of 21 Jan 2016.
Following a series of experiments, the generator was connected to the grid in the morning of 30 Jan 2016. According to the database of Power Reactor Information systems of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the KKNPP-1 operated for only 4,212 hours in 2014, less than half the time-schedule. Mentioning this, Prof M V Ramana, a nuclear physicist and currently associated with the Programme on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, a good fraction of those operations evidently involved the reactor generate below the corresponding rated power capacity. “In all, the reactor generated less than a third of the electricity that it could have if it had operated at full power, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.” Things worsened in the following year. The NPCIL website admitted that between April 2015 and January 2016, the plant had an abysmally load factor of 20 per cent.
There is no denying that the KKNPP-1 is a congenitally sick baby, a junk reactor. Maybe, the sickly state of KKNPP-1, prompted the NDA government (if not an alibi) to opt for the US plants. But in end-March this year, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, which is engaged in research and analysis on financial and economic issues related to energy, in order to quicken the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy, released a report, Bad Choice: The Risks, Costs and Viability of Proposed US Nuclear Reactors in India, which negates the economic viability of Indian plan to build 12 new nuclear-powered plants using untested technology. The lead author of it, IEEFA’s director of resource planning analysis, David Schlissel, stated that these nuclear plants are “first-of-kind” designs by Toshiba-Westinghouse and General Electric-Hitachi planned for the Mithi Virdi and Kovvada complexes, are neither economically nor financially viable.“They would take much longer than expected to build, they would result in higher bills for ratepayers, and, if they are built, they might not work as advertised.”
The IEEFA pointed out that it would take 11 to 15 years to build, if approved, the first new reactors at Mithi Virdi and Kovvada, provided there is no time lag. These reactors can’t start generation for the electric grid before 2029.
Furthermore, stated Schlissel, even if there is zero time-and-cost overruns, “both projects would require massive investment over the next two decades, ranging from Rs 6.3 lakh crores (US $95 billion) to 11.3 lakh crore rupees (US $170 billion).” The IEEFA warned against slowdown in project implementation due to lengthy land-acquisition and complicated nuclear liability issues. India is better advised to put money instead into its abundant solar energy, which will definitely be less expensive and less risky. “Investing in new solar photovoltaic capacity would be a much lower-cost, significantly less environmentally harmful and far more sustainable alternative to the Mithi Virdi and Kovvada projects,” quipped Schlissel…….http://www.dnaindia.com/analysis/column-nuclear-power-costly-inefficient-2244012
NAYANIMA BASU NEW DELHI, 16 AUGUST: The ratification of India-Japan Civil Nuclear deal is likely to be delayed further.
“It is unlikely that the Diet (wich is likely to meet for a special session end of next month) will take up the India-Japan Civil Nuclear deal for ratification. There are still some issues that need to be discussed,” a top official, involved in the talks, told BusinessLine.
The Diet had its session last in June. However, this year it will be meeting once again, which is also known as an extraordinary session from September 26.
However, like last time, it seems even in this session the nuclear deal with India will not go through due to “domestic pressure and compulsions”, according to the official. Once the Diet ratifies the deal, the deal will be officially signed.
According to sources, Japan has not been able to build a support for the deal within its political sections, as there are apprehensions that export of Japanese nuclear technology might get routed for military purposes.
There are also “strong concerns” on the Japanese side regarding nuclear cooperation because India is still not a signatory to nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The India-Japan Civil Nuclear deal had been under discussion for over six years now………
Meanwhile, India is also concerned with the fact that technical negotiations on the deal might take a backseat as the Japanese Cabinet has undergone a major reshuffle. Japan now has a new Defence Minister Tomomi Inada, who is known to be having anti-nuclear agenda……http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/ratification-of-india-japan-civil-nuclear-deal-may-face-further-delay/article8995337.ece
Abe, Modi to confer on nuclear deal / Meeting eyed for mid-Nov. in Tokyo The Yomiuri Shimbun, 14 Aug 16 The government is considering hosting India Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo in mid-November, according to sources, with nuclear cooperation on the agenda.
During the meeting, Abe and Modi intend to sign a nuclear cooperation accord that allows for trade in equipment and technology related to nuclear power plants. In preparation, both sides will soon start full-fledged talks to decide on wording in the accord, the sources said. Also likely to be discussed in the meeting will be the strengthening of security cooperation.
In recent years, the leaders of both nations have made mutual annual visits. In the summit meeting in December 2015, Abe and Modi reached a basic agreement on the signing of a nuclear cooperation accord. Should the accord be signed in November, it will allow Japanese companies to receive orders for nuclear power plant construction projects in India, which will lead to a possible solution for India’s serious electricity shortage.
As India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the Japanese and Indian governments are coordinating to decide on wording in the accord regarding nonproliferation and prohibition of nuclear tests…….http://www.the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003148491
An entire district in Rajasthan to be powered by solar energy, will end all water woes in the desert state! Rajasthan Electronics and Instrumentation Ltd, the firm currently handling the project has been given the green signal to spend Rs 11.91 crore for the entire project. India.com By Rutu Ladage on August 2, 2016“……..For Rajasthan government, coming up with newer techniques to ensure that the water issues never crop up, Barmer district in Jaiselmer is coming up with a unique solution. While we do have villages and homes in India that boast of solar power and using solar energy to meet their electricity needs, there are hardly any complete districts that boast of running solely on solar power. If the project works out, it will definitely be one of the major firsts in India and set the benchmark for other regions too. The Mukhyamantri Solar Adharit Nalkoop Yojana (MSANY). will provide 70 solar tubewells in Barmer district to help people become reliant on solar energy and use solar power even for agriculture.
A study by the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, that was released recently by the A.P.-Telangana-based voluntary organisation Human Rights Forum, warns India that GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse nuclear reactors are neither cost-effective nor power-efficient and that they have a huge risk factor.
This time round, the CPI(M) has decided to take up the cause in a big way. Senior party leader Prakash Karat visited Kovvada and other villages to interact with fishermen and farmers and addressed a public meeting there on July 16. The CPI(M) has given a call for a broad-based struggle against the nuclear plant at Kovvada, which Karat said would be a white elephant considering its steep projected cost. “This project is a bonanza for American business
The coast isn’t clear for India’s nuclear power quest, THE HINDU, K. VENKATESHWARLU , 28 July 16 A cluster of plants promises to turn coastal Andhra Pradesh into the country’s nuclear energy hub, but at what cost? At Kovvada, first off the blocks, K. Venkateshwarlu discovers some uneasy answers. Continue reading
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)
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