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NTPC goes nuclear, packs off officers to BARC for training

April 13, 2009 Leave a comment


C Sarita in Financial Chronicle

April 13 2009

DIVERSIFYING into nuclear power generation is like discovering the zero again for the country’s biggest power company NTPC Ltd. From pure thermal to hydro and now nuclear, its executives are getting trained for the big league. It has identified 25 of its executives for training in nuclear power generation at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai.

The employees, including some senior executives, will undergo one year of training. Post training, the executives will be posted in the company’s proposed joint venture with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).

Nuclear power generation involves mainly two components—reactor and fuel and the other is actual power generation which is akin to what NTPC does even now.

NTPC and NPCIL this February 14 signed a memorandum-of-understanding to set up a joint venture company to construct nuclear power projects in the country.

A senior NTPC executive said the programme would include both off site and onsite training. “This is the first time that we have posted our employees for training in nuclear energy. There are at least five senior executives in the list,” he said.

The joint venture planned to start with two reactors of 2,000 mw each, a capacity that NTPC targets to reach by 2017.

The joint venture, to mark NTPC’s entry in nuclear energy sector, is in the process of identifying sites for locating the projects. The official said the companies were yet working on financing details of projects.

With the MoU, NTPC will be able to leverage upon NPCIL’s expertise in the nuclear sector. NPCIL is the only company producing electricity through nuclear plants in the country. The firm aims to achieve a 10,000 mw capacity in the 11th Plan period, against about 4,000-mw at present. NPCIL has preliminary arrangements with France’s Areva for supply of six nuclear reactors with lifetime fuel supply for a proposed park at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.

The joint venture agreement between NTPC and NPCIL was inked after India received a waiver from the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group lifting a 34-year ban from nuclear trade.

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