News of NTPC’s plans to kick off its nuclear foray with a power plant in Tamil Nadu, and the Nuclear Power Corporation’s recent announcement on more reactors are both in line with India’s aim to build up its nuclear power capacity. Doing this calls for secure, long-term access to nuclear fuel: sourcing from Russia, or availability of locally sourced uranium is not a long-term solution. The success of the nuclear deal with the US, and access to the nuclear supply group that it provides is a solution, but that hinges on the US’ concerns about India’s growing proximity to Iran.
India should assess both its plan to import natural gas from Iran and the US deal, from the energy economics angle. Over its full lifecycle, a nuclear plant would be cheaper than a gas-based one, at current rates for long-term gas contracts, such as that on offer from Iran. The prospectivity of domestic gas finds has improved too.