‘No proposal to allow private sector in nuclear power generation’
New Delhi, July 04: The government has once again clarified that there is no proposal under consideration at present to permit private sector in the area of nuclear power generation.
Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Atomic Energy and Space, had given similar information in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on February 2, 2017.
On Wednesday, Dr. Singh told Lok Sabha that presently, two public sector companies of the Department of Atomic Energy, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) are involved in nuclear power generation.
"The Government has also amended the Atomic Energy Act to enable Joint Ventures of Public Sector Companies to set up nuclear power projects. There is no proposal under consideration at present to permit private sector in the area of nuclear power generation," Dr. Singh said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
He said, however, the private sector participates in the nuclear power sector by providing core reactor components, equipment, materials and services in areas that include construction, fabrication & erection of equipments, piping, electrical, instrumentation, consultancy, auxiliary and logistical services.
According to a source, parliamentarians are regularly asking the questions about the entry of private sector in nuclear power generation because in 2015 C N R Rao, former head of the scientific advisory council to the prime minister, had sought reforms in existing regulations to allow private sector participation in nuclear power generation.
According to reports, Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Energy Limited (rel) had proposed to form a joint venture with the NPCIL to explore its options of generating nuclear power, and formed a nuclear power initiative group under V K Chaturvedi, former chairperson and managing director of NPCIL.
During the last three years and the current year, the government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 12 nuclear power reactors. Ten indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) will be set up in fleet mode and 02 units of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) will be set up in cooperation with Russian Federation to enhance nuclear power capacity in the country.
India plans to start 21 new nuclear power reactors with a total installed capacity of 15,700 MW by 2031.