In the backdrop of signing nuclear treaty with the USA, India is going ahead to augment Nuclear Power generation. As per a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between two public sector power companies- National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)- a joint venture entity would be formed with the shareholding ratio of 51:49 between NPCIL and NTPC.
NTPC which is a ‘Navaratna’ company and is making an annual profit of around Rs.5000 crores per annum, would invest about Rs.1000 crores to set up nuclear power plants of 2000MW installed capacity in the next few years. The joint venture company would initially built two power plants of 700MW capacity. The new entity would employ the indigenous method of using natural uranium and heavy water to produce nuclear power.
S.K.Jain and R.S.Sharma, being chairmen of NPCIL and NTPC respectively, signed the MoU to this effect in Mumbai on 14th Feb’09.
According to Jairam Ramesh, the Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power, the new joint venture company would be formed in about three month’s time and the site and the project will be chosen and guided by the Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar.
Ramesh also said that due to fresh availability of nuclear fuel from France and Russia (because of nuclear treaty), nuclear power production from the country’s 17 nuclear power units would be augmented to 6000MW by this year-end by increasing the plant load factor to 90% from 40% at present.
NPCIL, however has plans to build eight nuclear power plants of 700MW each in the short run using pressurized heavy water reactor technology.