India and the U.S signed a historic Civil Nuclear agreement in the year 2008. It was a major breakthrough in the field of India’s nuclear policy development which led to open a new arena for the establishment of the nuclear facility. On the very same year, India’s sole nuclear operator NPCIL and U.S based nuclear technology giant Westinghouse agreed to sign a contractual agreement for establishment 6 new reactors on India soil.
Now it’s been almost a decade there is no significant progress in this direction. Some of the reasons are
1. Post-Fukushima stringent requirement of nuclear reactor safety concerned arose worldwide
2. The civil liability for nuclear damage bill enactment led to commercial contractual difficulty
3. Recently Westinghouse declared as bankrupt which led to further delay in realising deal
After a decade, Geo-Political scenario throughout world changed significantly which compelled government to look in to matter from new perspective because
1. Cost competitiveness of solar and wind power vis-a-vis nuclear power improved in much faster and better way
2. At present India already have 2*1000 MWe nuclear power plant built by Russian collaboration, which is running successfully. Per unit cost from Russian project is lesser than American project
3. Westinghouse planned to build AP1000 reactors technology which is still under development phase and yet to be proved as a safer, reliable and feasible technology
4. India has successfully constructed 550MWe reactor indigenously and 4*700 MWe power project is being constructed. It shows India’s capability and competence to design, fabricate and commission indigenously build the reactor. Therefore instead for foreign dependency, we should look for self-sufficiency.
Nuclear energy is free from carbon emission and it’s a kind of green energy. But the complexity of nuclear technology takes average 7-10 year in construction. Globally wind energy grew as 16%, solar energy as 30% and nuclear energy by only 1.6%. India should keep in mind all such factor while deciding its future course of development of energy sector.