Aided by imported uranium and new plants, India’ s Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) generated 32,455 million units of electricity in the year ended March 31, 2012, 22.5 per cent higher than the year before. Currently, NPCIL operates 19 nuclear power reactors in the country. NPCIL said revenue was $1.9 billion compared to about $1.5 billion in the prior year according to Power Engineering.
The overall average availability factor of the plants continued to be high at 91 per cent according to a report in Business Line. The average capacity factor (CF — the ratio of actual output to potential output) for the nine reactors, of the 19 in operation, fueled with imported uranium recorded an all-time high at 97 per cent. The overall average capacity factor for NPCIL reactors was 79 per cent, against the target of 66 per cent. (India Expert note: hmm, when I worked at power plants in Texas, management would have been in trouble for targeting just 66 percent availability; perhaps this low target was driven by the lack of Uranium in the past).
By 2017, NPCIL has planned the launch of about 17,000 MW capacity in the current Plan by setting up 10 Pressurizes Heavy Water Reactors of 700 MW each (based on original Canadian Candu technology) and it hopes to start on 10 Light Water Reactors of 1,000 MW each based on international cooperation from France, Russia and the United States.
April 25, 2012 No Comments
France’s Areva has signed an EUR 7 billion framework agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) for the construction of two EPR reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra state, to be commissioned in 2017-18, along with uranium fuel of 25 years. Alstom will supply the turbine- generators separately. Site work will begin next year with a view to begin construction from 2013. Jaitapur is to be a 9600 MWe energy park with six EPR units. Areva promises “maximum localization” of component production, and points to its 2009 agreement with Bharat Forge of Pune to set up by 2012 a new casting and forging facility in India for heavy nuclear components, to supply both domestic and export markets.
“In the field of nuclear energy, negotiations have reached an advance stage to pave the way for launching of nuclear power reactors in Jaitapur in partnership with Indian industry,” India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at a joint news conference in New Delhi with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, while on a four-day India working trip, accompanied by several chiefs of French companies. NPCIL had earlier signed an initial agreement with Areva for the supply of six nuclear reactors in February 2009. On Nov. 29, NPCIL received environmental clearance for the Jaitapur plant, clearing another vital hurdle for the project.
The agreements were signed by Areva’s Chief Executive Anne Lauvergeon and NPCIL’s Chairman and Managing Director S. K. Jain. The pacts with Areva are likely to speed up the French company’s entry into the sizable Indian civilian nuclear power sector, ahead of its American rivals.
The process of setting up the reactors slowed after the U.S.-based companies raised concerns over a law passed by India in August that made them liable for damages in the event of a nuclear accident. Subsequently similar concerns have been expressed from France, the UK, Canada and elsewhere. The India Experts expects India take up these concerns in side agreements and regulations that convert its new liability law into actionable rules of engagement. Stay tuned.
December 13, 2010 No Comments
After the media frenzy caused by the Obamas’ Diwali drop-in on India, it is now the turn of the French leader.
Michelle Obama enchanted Indian audiences by kicking off her shoes to dance to Bollywood music and play hopscotch with disadvantaged Mumbai kids (while Barack displayed the white side of his roots by shuffling his feet on the sidelines). They missed visiting India’s most famous monument ,the Taj Mahal. Well, former supermodel Carla Bruni Sarkozy, sees this has her opportunity to outdo the Obamas.
The French first couple requested a moonlight visit to this monument to love and India cleared out thousands of local tourists to that Carla and Nicholas could kiss privately in front of the white marble mausoleum that was built a hundred years before the French Revolution. Only two photographers were permitted to travel to Agra. DNA reported “Staying at the opulent Oberoi Amarvilas Hotel in Agra, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni today got a splendid view of the Taj Mahal, which they visited in the evening.”
In other gossip, India media reported that France’s insistence that no Indian security staff taller than 5 feet and 4 inches be deployed near the French President, who is notoriously sensitive about his height.
Substantively, Areva, owned by the French government expects to close a multi-billion deal to nuclear plants to build nuclear plants in Jaitapur, Maharashtra and perhaps one more site. Last week, the site for the plants received environmental clearance – a major hurdle for any infrastructure project in India. An agreement between Areva and India’s Nuclear Power Corporation is likely to be signed during Sarkozy’s visit, said T.P. Seetharam, a top official in India’s external affairs ministry, as reported by the Associated Press.
On his first stop, Sarkozy visited the state-run Indian Space Research Organization , where a joint project with France is developing a satellite to monitor climate change and ocean conditions. French companies are also egotiating to upgrade 51 Mirage-2000 jet fighters of the Indian Air Force. India is also in the market to buy 126 fighter jets, a deal worth $11 billion (where France has a stake), and nearly 200 helicopters worth another $4 billion.
December 6, 2010 No Comments
Using uranium fuel supplied by France’s Areva and Russia’s TVEL Corporation, three of India’s oldest atomic power stations have been able to recover from low capacity factors.
The General Electric-supplied Tarapur units 1 and 2 ran at 90 and 99 percent of capacity in the period from April to June 2010; they are both rated at just 160 megawatts each and are over 40 years old. These units are located near Mumbai. Further north in desert of Rajasthan, the RAPS 2 unit produced at 97 percent of its 200 megawatt capacity in the same time frame.
All three reactors are under the IAEA safeguards regime which allows India to use imported uranium at plants where there is no potential of military application. Currently six Indian reactors totalling to 1060 megawatts are under international safeguards and qualify for the use of imported uranium.
Areva is contracted to supply 300 ton for India’s existing Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors based on the “Candu” technology. TVEL Corporation is commited to 2,000 tons of uranium pellets in low-enriched form for use in Tarapur and in the new plants at Kudankulam, which use Russian VVER technology but are not operational yet.
The benefits to Russian and French companies are flowing from the American led movement to open up nuclear commerce with India, after sanctions were first imposed in 1974. Ironically American companies have yet to gain export permissions to sell anything to India.
July 29, 2010 No Comments