India is confident of concluding the nuclear deal with reactor-maker Westinghouse Electric very soon as it expects the company to come out of bankruptcy very soon, said Satish Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).
“The discussions are happening and they are of a very complex nature. Any progress will happen only after bankruptcy which is likely to happen very soon. That is why we are continuing the discussions,” Mr. Sharma said.
Some officials said they were hopeful that Toshiba, which had acquired the U.S.-based Westinghouse in 2006, was too big to fail and would be bankrolled either by the Japanese government or the Japanese Development Bank.
Following the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, India has been in discussion with Westinghouse since 2005 to build six AP1000 nuclear reactors. After protracted negotiations and concerns on the nuclear liability, NPCIL and Westinghouse had agreed to “work toward finalising the contractual arrangements by June 2017.”
However, the process was stalled after Toshiba Corp declared bankruptcy and decided to move out of reactor-building business.
Second site in A.P.
Meanwhile, the second site for constructing additional Russian reactors in Andhra Pradesh is yet to be finalised. “The site selection committee is evaluating a second site in Andhra Pradesh other than Kovvada which was initially proposed. There are DAE guidelines laid down for finalising a site,” an official of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) told The Hindu.
Stating that the process is under way, the official said that various factors such as land type, earthquake potential, availability of water should all be factored in. “Given that it is a coastal site, there are also other parameters,” he added.
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