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N-power inevitable for India's growth: PWC

Source: PTI
October 15, 2009 11:32 IST
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Nuclear power plantDespite several hurdles still to be crossed over for the ambitious expansion of nuclear power production in India, N-power is inevitable for the country's growth as well as to save future generation from inflation, a top executive of PricewaterhouseCoopers said on Thursday.

"India should focus on manufacturing of equipment for the nuclear industry, aim for becoming part of global supply chain and export of cost effective small reactors which many of the small countries are looking for," Kameshwara Rao, executive director, Industry Leader for Electricity and mining, PWC, told reporters on the sidelines of Second Indo-French Nuclear Industry Business Meet.

"We should bother about India's expansion in nuclear power because basically we are protecting future generations from inflation as in the nuclear power bulk of it is the capital cost like cement, concrete, steel but the fuel does not cost much. So the overall electricity tariff remains stable," he said.

That is how the French benefited and could check inflation as 70 per cent of their power production is from nuclear and India could also do it, Rao said.

PWC released a study on 'Opportunities and challenges for Indo-French cooperation in Nuclear Power' on Thursday interviewing 35 companies of various sizes from both India and France.  

The study was released by ambassador of France to India, Jerome Bonnafont.

Rao pointed out that India is carrying out several parallel processes at various levels -- from local, company and government levels to make the bilateral agreement with France a reality but even after six years it may not be possible to get a megawatt of power as there are several scientifically and otherwise complex issues involved.

"India should go ahead in developing capabilities in large scale manufacturing, keep the dialogue with the French companies open to have a reasonably good supply chain as a preparation for taking off once the hurdles like ratification processes for the bilateral agreement by both the countries, are cleared," he said.

Indian nuclear power plants are cost effective compared to the global players, and since so many countries whose grids are small are showing interest in India's 220 MW, 540 MW nuclear reactors Indian industry should get ready for the export of such small reactors, he said.

Manufacturing is a good strength for India and Indian companies have huge potential, he said adding although there are some restrictions on dual use equipment, there is a lot of learning curve to be undertaken.

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