Today another big nuclear market besides China that attracts many attention in the world is India. Nuclear energy is the fourth-largest source of power in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources, which has an installed capacity of 5780MW in 21 units and provides 3.5% of India’s total power consumption.
India has a large demand of nuclear energy
With the rapid growth of the economy, the power demand of India has been increasing even faster in the past few years, for instance, the 1193 TWh gross produced in 2013 was more than triple the 1990 output. Once Narendra Modi came to power as the Prime Minister, the nuclear energy is seen as the solution to India’s electricity supply. The Indian government plans to build 40 reactors units by 2032, to increase the output about 10 times by the nuclear energy. The International Energy Association predicted that in 2040, India will be the second largest market for the nuclear industry only behind China.
The Indian Government Actively Seeking Cooperation Opportunities
In June during Narendra Modi visiting the United States, the US government and the Indian government agreed to move ahead with the construction of 6 nuclear reactors in India by Westinghouse. The deal is estimated about $20 billion. Besides, earlier of this year in January, India and France discussed about starting a new nuclear project in West India in 2017. India and Japan signed a MoU in 2015, which said these two country will enhance their cooperation on future nuclear industry.
Besides, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has also established the long term relationships with AREVA, GE-Hitachi, and Westinghouse.
Completed R&D and Supply Capability of the Nuclear Industry
Nuclear power for civil use is well established in India. Since building the two small boiling water reactors at Tarapur in the 1960s, its civil nuclear strategy has been directed towards complete independence in the nuclear fuel cycle, necessary because it is excluded from the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to it acquiring nuclear weapons capability after 1970.
As a result, India’s nuclear power program has proceeded largely without fuel or technological assistance from other countries. The pressurised heavy-water reactor design was adopted in 1964, since it required less natural uranium than the Boiled Water Reactors, needed no enrichment. India’s nuclear energy self-sufficiency extended from uranium exploration and mining through fuel fabrication, heavy water production, reactor design and construction, to reprocessing and waste management. It has a small fast breeder reactor and is building a much larger one. It is also developing technology to utilise its abundant resources of thorium as a nuclear fuel.
With the large demand, government strong support, and sufficient R&D capability, it is no doubt that India is one of the most important and attractive market today to the global nuclear industry. As Dr J. Kumar concluded on the 4 Asia Nuclear Business Platform“The Indian nuclear power industry is expected to undergo a significant expansion in the coming years. Administrative, legal and commercial arrangements are in place to allow India to carry out trade of nuclear fuel and technologies with other countries and significantly enhance its power generation capacity. “
The Indian nuclear industry is always an important topic of Asia Nuclear Business Platform and it will be discussed during the 5 Asia Nuclear Business Platform in May in Shanghai. For more information please contact: [email protected]