India suggests restoring nuclear commerce with Canada

January 8th, 2009 - 5:44 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Jan 8 (ANI): Special Envoy to Prime Minister on the nuclear deal, Shyam Saran on Thursday hinted at restoring nuclear commerce with Canada.
Saran told reporters that along with the civil nuclear treaties with France, Russia and the USA, there could be cooperation with Canada also.
“With Russia, we also have indicated to the United States of America in a letter of intent that perhaps up to 100,000 Megawatts could even be considered for Indo-American ventures in nuclear energy. There are many other players who may be interested for example we have had a considerable amount of collaboration with Canada in old days. Now that the market is open again. Perhaps there could be cooperation with Canada,” said Saran.
India and Canada have had longstanding nuclear bilateral ties and nuclear fuel starved India seems to be keen on rebuilding on these ties.
The Atomic Energy of Canada has been negotiating to re-enter the Indian market despite the fact that India has not signed the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Saran said that India intends to develop the nuclear power sector on a massive and rapid scale. It could generate around 60 000 megawatts of nuclear power by 2030, if it is able to cliche many of the contracts which are in the early stages of negotiations.
“While we have been talking about the possibility of a 20,000 mw (nuclear power) target by 2020, but infact if we are able to clinch many of the contracts which are in the early stages of negotiation. Perhaps we can even increase this quite substantially. We are looking at this particular point of time, within government to even reaching a target of may be a target of 60 000 megawatts by about 2030. So that is a very massive and rapid sort of intention at least to develop this industry,” said Saran.
India’’s nuclear reactors are currently running at 50 per cent of capacity due to a fuel shortage and with plans to more than double its reactor fleet over the next 15 years Indian demand for nuclear fuel is seen growing substantially.
According to WNA, India aims to meet 25 per cent of its electricity demand from nuclear power by 2050. It has currently six reactors under construction that are expected to be completed in 2010.
Initially, India is seen buying uranium to get for its fleet of nuclear reactors with two mid-sized and 15 small reactors, operating at full power.
Referring to the private sector participation in the nuclear power programme, Saran said that India is being cautious about allowing private players to enter this sector but added that Indian Government does not have a closed mind on it.
“Whether or not the private sector in India can actually set up nuclear power plants themselves, will need further examination within the government itself. I would say that the government doesn”t have a closed mind on this. It will be necessary to have a more elaborate licensing and regulatory and oversight mechanism. We need much more experience with respect to these areas,” said Saran.
The United States and India in 2008, signed a potentially lucrative agreement that would allow India to buy U.S. civil nuclear technology for the first time in three decades. (ANI)

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