Monday, April 9, 2007

10,000 MW Atomic power plant at the cost of 500 billion coming

Energy Central Professional

India plans large nuclear power plant in collaboration with European countries
NEW DELHI (The Associated Press) - Apr 6

India plans to build a large atomic power plant in the western state of Maharashtra, encouraged by the civilian nuclear deal with the U.S. that will help the country access the international market for nuclear fuel and technologies, a news report said.

State-run Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. plans to build the 10,000 megawatt plant using European pressurized reactors, or EPRs, from France, Germany and Finland, the Financial Express newspaper reported.

EPRs are third generation nuclear reactors that feature better safety standards and significantly contain radioactivity in the event of an accident.

The plant, comprising six units, each having the capacity to generate 1,650 megawatts of electricity, will cost 500 billion rupees, or $11.4 billion, the report said quoting S.K. Jain, chairman of the Indian company.

The investment amount will be raised through a combination of equity and debt, including loans from multilateral development agencies, the report quoted Jain as saying.

India currently operates much smaller plants with a combined capacity of less than 4,000 megawatts, mainly because of lack of adequate nuclear fuel supplies.

Construction of the plant is expected to start next year, Jain said.

It wasn't immediately clear if companies from European countries would also have equity stakes in the project. The report didn't elaborate on financial aspects.

Officials at Nuclear Power Corp. could not be reached for comments as government offices were closed to mark the Good Friday holiday.

The 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group bars its members from exporting nuclear fuel to India because New Delhi has refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

The agreement with the United States, which was cleared by its Congress last December, seeks to lift that ban.

Encouraged by the deal, India plans to increase nuclear power production nearly 10-fold to 30,000 megawatts in 20 years. That target could go up if India allows domestic private companies to enter nuclear power generation, which is currently limited to state-run utilities.

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