After a couple of extensions, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) Chairman Dr. S.K. Jain retired last month. He was also chairman of sister company, Bhavini, which runs India’s fast breeder reactor program. NPCIL has 2o reactors functioning and is India’s only nuclear utility. Bhavini runs a small fast breeder reactor and completing a 540 MW version shortly. Both companies are 110% percent owned by the Government of India via its Department of Atomic Energy.
Shiv Abhilash Bhardwaj, a graduate of IIT Delhi, and a longtime executive board member of NPCIL has been appointed Acting Chairman and Managing Director of NPCIL. Bhardwaj has been associated with nuclear fuel, design and engineering activities, reactor core design. For the first time, Bhavini has a different Chairman and Managing Director. Also in an acting role, is Prabhat Kumar, until recently Director (Construction) and Project Director(Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor).
What this means
This transition was a long time coming since Dr Jain was due to retire a few years ago. The fact the two new appointees have been designated “Acting” could mean a number of different things about the Government’s intent. The separtions of roles between NPCIL and Bhavini is not a surprise since Bhavini is about to expand its capacity by ten fold with the new reactor coming online soon. NPCIL also has more on its plate than at any time in its history with the expansion of the India heavy water fleed, the Russian VVERs coming on line in Tamil Nadu and the new western light water technologies from Areva and others to come into play shortly.
June 7, 2012 No Comments
This week, the First Pour of Concrete (FPC) was initiated at RAPP-7, the seventh reactor to built at the Rawatbhata, Rajasthan location in the deserts of northwestern India.
The new plant will have a capacity of 700 megawatts, the largest heavy water reactor possible. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) hopes to start commercial operations by June 2016. The first pour of concrete for Unit 8 at this location is expected later this year. The Rajasthan Atomic Power Stations already has six reactors (of which RAPS-2 to RAPS-6 are functional) with a total capacity of about 1.2 gigawatts.
The RAPP7 ceremony was attended by India’s Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Dr. Srikumar Banerjee and Nuclear Power Corp. of India Limited Chairman and Managing Director Shreyans Kumar Jain. The700-megawatt PHWR was designed by NPCIL engineers by scaling up the design of its 540-megawatt PHWRs operating at Tarapur since 2005.
Two additional 700 megawatt units are already being built at Kakrapar, in Gujarat close to the Western coast.
What this means:
July 20, 2011 No Comments
India’s parliament passed a new liability law last year. The Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill 2010 determines how the liability for an accident would be apportioned among equipment suppliers and vendors under the provisions of the nuclear liability law. But many suppliers find it lacking. Equipment makers, including India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals and France’s Areva, have made it clear that dealing with the state owned Nuclear Power Corp, which operates Indian reactors, would be challenging if the present conditions were not tweaked.
Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL), the country’s only permitted entity to generate such energy, is worried that after a mishap it will be difficult to fix responsibility of vendors. “It’s not a turnkey contract. A nuclear project is a complex mix of 2,000 industries,” company chairman and managing director SK Jain told the Economic Times. “The question is who will be sued. The damage can be due to failure of components, poor upkeep or not using original spare parts or deploying technical people,” Jain said.
What this means:
Since both the customer (NPCIL) and suppliers from India and overseas are proposing a change in the conditions of the law, it is only a matter of time that some accomodation should be made
July 18, 2011 No Comments
India is planning a rapid expansion of its nuclear power plant capacity. New Sites in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have been identified and land acquisition processes started. Now there is news about the site in Haripur, West Bengal.
According to NPCIL Chairman Dr. SK Jain, “Ground work including collection of oceanography and meteorological data, is currently in progress. However, we are not carrying out any geo-technical test at present. This can wait for some more time. By March 2012 all basic information will be complete”. Land acquisition will start in 2013. The site is tentatively allocated to Russian technology and may eventually house 6,000 to 10,000 megawatts of capacity.
March 17, 2011 No Comments