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France-India nuclear cooperation deal

September 30, 2008 Leave a comment

From the World Nuclear News

September 30, 2008

Indian and French leaders have signed a nuclear cooperation deal the makes way for an enormous amount of trade between the two nations. Meanwhile, India’s deal with the USA is at the final hurdle.

At a France-India summit, Sarkozy and Singh signed a number of agreements. One of them, announced without fanfare, was a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement “welcomed” by both sides. This “will form the basis of wide-ranging bilateral collaborations in energy and research” Sarkozy’s office said.

Both leaders were accompanied by large trade delegations of executives from the nuclear business and beyond. Reports such as one in Indian daily Business Line that indicated up to six Areva EPR units could be built at the new Jaitapur site in Maharashtra – giving some 9600 MWe and more than doubling Indian nuclear capacity – illustrate the potential benefits of nuclear trade to both nations.

Meanwhile, India’s agreement with the USA has reached what all involved will hope is its final hurdle. Congressmen in the House of Representatives approved the text of the 123 Agreement yesterday by 298 votes to 117 before passing it on to the Senate. The influential Senate Committee on Foreign Relations recently polled support for the deal, giving hope that it can be approved by the upper house before recess. While the recess is officially scheduled to start tomorrow, American lawmakers are busy trying to reach agreement on the bail-out of the failed banking sector so official timetables seem unimportant.

The deals are the culmination of a US-led initiative to end the trade ban on India that resulted from its refusal of the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty. The development of a specific safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency and specific rules at the Nuclear Suppliers Group have made it possible for India to complete a round of bilateral deals with countries around the world. In time, India will buy advanced nuclear reactors and services from other nations, and will also export its own nuclear goods and services.

American businessmen and politicians will be disappointed that their cooperation deal was not the first, but it is thought that Indian planners will reward the USA with the first round of contracts for advanced nuclear build.

EU-India climate pact

Separately, India has agreed to cooperate with the European Union on general matters of energy and climate change.

Yesterday in Paris a summit took place between Singh and Barroso where the EU and India, “reaffirmed their common will to tackle without delay the problem of climate change and deepen their cooperation in areas related to energy, clean development and climate change.”

They agreed to use international mechanisms to achieve a post-2012 emissions regime and recalled “that the fight against climate change is closely linked to the fight against poverty, inequality and exclusion. They recognize that efforts to move towards a low carbon economy must go hand in hand with the development and improvement of living conditions of the poorest of the population.”

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Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu will benefit first

September 11, 2008 Leave a comment

Sujay Mehdudia in The Hindu

September 11, 2008

France’s Areva will set up plant in Ratnagiri district

Koodankulam can accommodate 6 more plants

NEW DELHI: With India getting waiver from the Nuclear Supplies Group, the immediate beneficiaries of nuclear power generation will be Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, where mega plants have been planned.

In a related development, the Congress government in Haryana, trying to cash in on the euphoria over the India-U.S. nuclear deal, has submitted a proposal to the Centre for setting up a plant. “The proposal “will receive active consideration. A number of other States have also shown interest in setting up nuclear power plants for clean energy and proposals are likely to flow once the U.S. Congress gives its nod for the deal,” Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh said here.
Site selected

Mr. Ramesh said Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra would see the establishment of a 10,000-MWe plant by French vendor Areva. The site selection and in-principle approval were completed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and other formalities were being gone through. Jaitapur had the potential for eight units of 1200-MWe each or 10 units of 1,000 MWe each or six units of 1,600 Mwe each.

Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu, which now had two Russian reactors of 1,000 MWe each, was capable of accommodating six more plants of the same capacity. Talks for this would now be initiated with Russian companies. “The Russians have already promised two reactors and preparations are on at the site for these two,” he said.

The Koodankulam Russian plants cost around Rs. 6,500 crore each and the tariff calculated was Rs. 2.30 to 2.40 a unit of electricity.
Potential vendors

The Minister said nuclear commerce would begin with Russia, France and with the U.S. after Congress ratified the agreement. Other potential vendors of light water reactors and uranium could be Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the U.S., Canada, South Africa, Central Africa and Niger. Owing to inadequate supply of uranium, the nuclear power plants in the country, with an installed capacity of 4,120 MWe, were generating only 40-50 per cent of their existing capacity.

“The government will soon put into action the process to import the additional fuel so that the plants can run at full capacity bringing in an additional 2,000 MWe.”

France likely the first nation to ink nuclear trade pact with India

September 8, 2008 Leave a comment

From the Financial Express

September 8, 2008

France is likely to become the first country off the block to sign a deal with India to provide nuclear reactors, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh embarks on a high profile visit to the United States and France this month end to mark India’s entry into global nuclear business.

Top government sources on Sunday indicated that a separate agreement to provide two nuclear reactors to be installed in Jaitapur in Maharashtra may be inked between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Nicholas Sarkozy on September 29 when they meet in Paris.

Prime Minister Singh will make the stopover in Paris after his visit to the United Nations General Assembly in New York during the course of which he will also make a day trip to Washington to meet President George Bush on the nuclear deal.

For the Jaitapur nuclear plants, where light water reactors are to be set up, French nuclear major Areva NP, which designs and builds power plants, is among the frontrunners.

Government sources also indicated that India may source two nuclear plants from the United States, one of which is likely to be installed in Midnapore in West Bengal.

Work on two more reactors, the 1000 MWe (megawatt electric) light water reactors at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu are expected to be put on the fast track in November when Russian premier visits New Delhi.

US nuclear majors Westinghouse Electric Company and General Electric are expected to bag the contracts for reactors in West Bengal, once the Indo-US deal is cleared by the US Congress.

Affirming that the NSG waiver was a major achievement, UPA sources on Sunday said the success in Vienna amounted to lifting of a big load off the leadership’s head.

Giving an inkling of the hectic parleying that went behind the scenes to secure NSG’s exemption allowing India to do global nuclear business, the sources said pressure was put on hold out countries including China at the highest level by both India and the United States. Both President George Bush and secretary of state Condoleeza Rice called their counterparts in China, Ireland, Austria and other countries following which their representatives in Vienna ultimately fell in line to back the India specific waiver.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, sources said, also prepared the grounds to blunt any opposition attack by personally calling former national security advisor Brajesh Mishra and seeking his support. Notably, Mishra took a contradictory view Saturday night appearing on television channels to praise the NSG waiver.