INDIA’S “JAITAPUR” NUCLEAR PLANT PLACED ON-HOLD DUE TO PUBLIC OPPOSITION
24 Nov 2011
INDIA’S STATE RUN “NUCLEAR POWER CORP. LTD (NPCIL)” said on 23 Nov 2011, that it would postpone its decision to build a planned 9,900 mega-watt (Mw) Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Jaitapur, located on the western coast of India, at Madban village of Ratnagiri District in Maharashtra. NPCIL, and its French partner Areva, have recently reached an impasse on the project. Opposition to the huge NPP Jaitapur project began on 04 Dec 2010, when protests became violent, resulting in over 1,500 people detained, a few injuries and one death, from among thousands of protesters, who included environmentalists, and local villagers; Opposition to the project is ongoing on various levels. Environmental poisoning, and geological issues have been raised. Currently, popular opposition has been exacerbated by the aftermath of the Fukushima Dai No.1 triple meltdown.
FRENCH DESIGNED “AREVA” - “GEN III+ NPP” CONTEMPLATED FOR JAITAPUR. NPCIL Technical Director S.A. Bhardwaj told reporters at an industry event held by “India Energy Forum”: “We are hopeful that Areva experts will submit the report on Jaitapur in Dec 2011 and so, talks will begin in Jan 2012…We will discuss technical and commercial aspects of the project” France is also reviewing all the NPP joint ventures its companies are engaged in; On February 4, 2009 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between NPCIL and Areva regarding long-term ? supply of the first twin set of “European Pressurized Reactors (EPR)s’. The Areva EPR reactor will be the first of the “Gen III+ reactors” ever built in the world. They are generically referred to as: Economical, Simplified Boiling Water Reactors (ESBWR)s; These normally incorporate modular architecture and construction, should be more economical and faster(to assemble), plus more reliable, and safer, because they incorporate passive cooling systems, and as bonus require much less cooling water. NPP PROPONENTS ALWAYS PROMISE THE BEST, BUT DO NOT ALWAYS DELIVER. WE MUST REMEMBER FRANCE HAS YET TO BUILD/LICENCE A GEN III+ ESBWR.
INDIA’S NPCIL HAS AN AGGRESSIVE NPP PLAN TO BE A POWER HUB by building and commissioning 20,000Mw capacity by 2020 and 63,000Mw by 2032 to make India an “NPP power hub” for both domestic and international players. Few state-run companies such as IOC, NTPC and Nalco have inked joint venture partnerships with NPCIL to invest in nuclear power generation.
NPCIL CURRENTLY GENERATES 4,780Mw WITH NPPs. NPCIL Technical Director S.A. Bhardwaj said it is setting up additional capacity of 5,300 Mw; Out of this, 2,000Mw now at Kudankulam NPP is nearing completion (wa’na bet ?), and the rest will be commissioned by 2016. Currently, NPCIL has nuclear fuel demand of 450 tons of uranium every year to run its power stations in six(6) different states and is also in talks with ONGC for investing in nuclear power project. The state-run enterprise has long term contracts to source uranium from Russia (2,000 tons), Kazakhstan (2,100 tons) and other mines operated by Areva (300 tons) State-owned India “Oil and Natural Gas Corp” (ONGC) plans to take up to 49 % stake in one of the five proposed nuclear power plants of Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL). “We are in discussions with NPCIL for incorporating a joint venture for setting up a nuclear power plant”. NPCIL will have a minimum of 51 % stake in the joint venture while ONGC would have a maximum of 49 %” a company official said. The joint venture would build, own and operate nuclear power plants for energy generation at mutually agreed locations. It would be managed by a Board of Directors made up of nominees from both companies.
Thanks to : Siddhartha P Saikia, 23 Nov 2011, New Delhi
And re-written and expanded for clarity to Western readers.
This article is a follow-up to: INDIA – A NEW COLONY OF RUSSIA? ITS THIRST FOR ENERGY COULD MAKE IT SO – PART 2; Dated 21 Nov 2011, Published here, and in larger text at: http://forums.mysanantonio.com/forums/ub…n_Pl#Post169424
NPCIL WANTS TO BE A BIG “JOINT VENTURE” NPP UTILITIES CORP; If it could, it would like to set up five(5) ‘Nuclear energy parks’, each with a total capacity of up to 10,000MW at a single location. The sites identified for these energy parks are 1. Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, 2. Jaitapur in Maharashtra, 3. Mithi Virdi in Gujarat, 4. Kowada in Andhra Pradesh, and 5. Haripur in West Bengal, all with imported(French or Russian) reactors. The Chairman of the company would be selected among NPCIL Directors. FROM WHERE I STAND, THEIR PLANS ARE ASKEW ALREADY in kundankulam KKNPP. Big talk for big plans!
FOR THE “JAITAPUR NPP PROJECT”, French AREVA and NPCIL signed an agreement for about $9.3 billion, with a provision for AREVA to provide India with Nuclear fuel for 25 years. NPCIL, Technical Director Bhardwaj added, “as our demand increases with commissioning of new plants, we would renew our fuel supply contracts, and tie-up new sources”…This is a general framework agreement, along with agreement on “Protection of Confidentiality of Technical Data and Information Relating to Nuclear Power Corporation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy” was also signed. No details were given regarding technical and logistical support issues; That, is always a problem! The rate paying public is never privy to their corporate “understandings”. Even when such understandings and undisclosed agreements impinge on National sovereignty and independence! QUESTION IS: WHAT DOES “GOVERNMENT SPONSORED” MEAN ? ONE HOPES IT MEANS “GOVERNMENT LICENSED TO OPERATE”, AND SUBJECT TO REVOCATION, SUSPENSION, OR CANCELLATION.
It will be interesting to see what happens to the $9.3 Billion “agreement” Who looses & who gains?
I SAY AGAIN, TODAY NPP OPERATIONAL SAFETY IS NO LONGER THE MAIN ISSUE. The real problem is the huge worldwide accumulation of “Spent Fuel”(Transuranics) – highly toxic nuclear waste with very long decay rates, and NO PLACE TO SAFELY STORE THEM FOR ETERNITY. That problem has multiplied all over the world with every new NPP to aggravate the problem.
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT DESPITE SOME PROTEST INCIDENTS, THE INDIAN DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT IS ACTING IN A “RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE” WAY TOWARDS THEIR ELECTORATE. POLITICIANS FIND THEMSELVES IN THE VORTEX OF A VERY RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD – WHERE ENERGY IS CRUCIAL.