India asks US to reduce nuclear power costs

India asks US to reduce nuclear power costs
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First Published: Fri, Dec 11 2009. 10 47 PM IST

Costly power:Tarapur nuclear power plant in Maharashtra. The cost of the US nuclear power technology is Rs15-16 crore per megawatt.
Costly power:Tarapur nuclear power plant in Maharashtra. The cost of the US nuclear power technology is Rs15-16 crore per megawatt.
Updated: Fri, Dec 11 2009. 10 47 PM IST
India has asked the US to reduce the cost of the nuclear power technology it is offering to India.
The cost of the US nuclear power technology is Rs15-16 crore per MW against Rs7-8 crore per MW in India, said a senior official at the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), India’s apex power sector planning body.
“We have asked them to reduce it. Let us see how they do it,” the official said. He didn’t want to be identified.
The US was instrumental in getting India out of its nuclear isolation, but the country is yet to sign a deal with US utilities such as GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy Inc. or Westinghouse Electric Co. Llc. GE-Hitachi and Westinghouse plan to develop one site each in India, both rated for 10,000MW.
Costly power:Tarapur nuclear power plant in Maharashtra. The cost of the US nuclear power technology is Rs15-16 crore per megawatt.
Separately, Rakesh Nath, chairman, CEA, told reporters at an industry event that “European and American costs are higher than the indigenous manufacturers. Russian prices seem to be ok”.
His comments came after the visit of a US nuclear industry delegation to India that included members from GE-Hitachi, Westinghouse and Babcock and Wilxcox Co.
These and other overseas nuclear power generation equipment companies such as France’s Areva SA and Russia’s Atomstroyexport have plans to supply reactors to state-owned Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd (NPCIL).
These companies are eyeing Indian orders potentially worth $14 billion (Rs65,000 crore) after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in September allowed the country’s entry into nuclear commerce, from which it had been shut out for 34 years.
NPCIL plans to create additional generating capacity of 3,160MW by 2012 and achieve 20,000MW of installed nuclear power capacity by 2020. Of India’s installed power generation capacity of nearly 150,000MW, nuclear energy accounts for only 4,120MW.
utpal.b@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Dec 11 2009. 10 47 PM IST