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Govt seeks nuclear power investment worth $26 billion from Adani, RIL, Tata Group, Vedanta

The government will invite private firms to invest about $26 billion in in the nuclear energy sector to increase the amount of electricity from sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report by news agency Reuters.

The government is in talks with at least five private firms including Reliance Industries, Tata PowerAdani Power and Vedanta Ltd to invest around 44,000 crore each, according to the report. This is the first time that the government is pursuing private investment in nuclear power, a non-carbon-emitting energy source that contributes less than two per cent of India’s total electricity generation. The funding would help India to achieve its target of having 50 per cent of its installed electric generation capacity use non-fossil fuels by 2030, up from 42 per cent now.

The Department of Atomic Energy and state-run Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) have held multiple rounds of discussions with the private companies in the past year on the investment plan. With the investment, the government hopes to build 11,000 megawatts (MW) of new nuclear power generation capacity by 2040, the report added.

NPCIL owns and operates India’s current fleet of nuclear power plants, with a capacity of 7,500 MW, and has committed investments for another 1,300 MW. Under the funding plan the private companies will make the investments in the nuclear plants, acquire land, water and undertake construction in areas outside the reactor complex of the plants.

However, the rights to build and run the stations and their fuel management will rest with NPCIL, as allowed under the law. The private companies are expected to earn revenue from the power plant’s electricity sales and NPCIL would operate the projects for a fee, according to the report.

The plan will not require any amendment to the India’s Atomic Energy Act of 1962 but will need a final go-ahead from the Department of Atomic Energy.

Indian law bars private companies from setting up nuclear power plants but allows them to supply components, equipment and sign construction contracts for work outside of the reactors, according to the report.

The government has not met its nuclear power capacity addition targets for years mainly because it could not procure nuclear fuel supplies. However in 2010, India struck a deal with the United States for supplies of reprocessed nuclear fuel. India’s nuclear compensation laws have hampered talks with foreign power plant builders such as General Electric and Westinghouse. The country has deferred a target to add 2,000 MW of nuclear power from 2020 to 2030.


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