We don’t want an Enron in nuclear power sector: Kakodkar

December 11th, 2008 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu), Dec 11 (IANS) Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman Anil Kakodkar Thursday said only experienced private companies will be allowed in nuclear power generation.”Private players with experience in nuclear power generation alone can get into this segment and that too as a 26 percent stake holder in joint ventures with Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL),” Kakodkar told reporters on the sidelines of a welding seminar here.

“We don’t want another Enron episode. Once a nuclear reactor goes on stream, it has to be attended. We can’t afford the private party going away locking the plant gates,” he said, referring to US energy giant Enron that walked out of the Dhabol project in Maharashtra before completion.

“If light water reactors (LWR) are set up in convoy mode, standardisation will be of great economic value. The higher the reactor capacity, the lower will be the per megawatt cost. Standardisation will also depend on the vendor’s product portfolio,” he added.

He said NPCIL was in discussion with equipment vendors for setting up such reactors for nuclear power plants.

“Finalisation of the vendor will depend on progressive localisation of components as well as the capital costs. The equipment supply contract should also have the guarantee for fuel supplies,” Kakodkar said.

Asked about capping the equipment vendor’s third-party liability, he said it was under the government’s consideration.

“A law to this effect will be passed after the consultation,” Kakodkar said.

He added that it was technically feasible to decommission an existing nuclear power plant and set up a new LWR.

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