Westinghouse in talks with India for six nuclear power reactors

US nuclear industry giant Westinghouseexpects to exit bankruptcy in the next few months following which it plans to hold commercial discussions on six nuclear reactors with India.

Meanwhile, domestic oil and gas major, ONGC plans to work with Nuclear PowerCorporation (NPCIL) to build more reactors in India, said Jitendra Singh, minister of state in PMO, in charge of department of atomic energy. “ONGC has come forward with a plan. They have a lot of money they would like to invest and we have the technical expertise,” he said.

K M Rajan, senior functionary of Westinghouse, told a nuclear energy conclave here that while liability talks with India would happen only during the commercial discussions, he observed that in China the operator assumes the liability. India’s nuclear liability law has been enormously controversial. In 2015, the government set out an insurance pool and softened the rules that make it easier for Indian industrial players who had been deeply affected by the law.

Westinghouse’s AP 1000 reactors in China, Haiying 1 and Sanmen 1 are also running behind schedule and are only expected to go onstream in 2018. Westinghouse’s future remains up in the air with Toshiba saying they might want to hive off the nuclear company.

The government earlier this summer amended the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 to enable the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to form joint ventures with state owned companies (PSUs) to share the initial high capital expenditure for nuclear power plants. In addition, the government ordered the construction ten 700 MW indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors.

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