GE Hitachi Nuclear and India Nuclear Industry Companies Sign Project Development Agreements
23 March 2009
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) has signed separate agreements with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) as the companies prepare to collaborate on building multiple GEH-designed nuclear reactors to help meet India’s goals to expand electricity generation from nuclear energy more than tenfold over the next two decades, from 4.1 GW today to 60 GW by 2032.
Mumbai-based NPCIL is India’s only nuclear utility operating 17 reactor; New Delhi-based BHEL is the country’s leading manufacturer and supplier of power generation equipment and components. Both are government-owned.
Under the preliminary agreements, GEH will begin planning with NPCIL and BHEL for the necessary resources in manufacturing and construction management for a potential multiple-unit Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) nuclear power station. The 1,350-MW ABWR technology is the world’s only commercially proven Generation III reactor design, with the first two of four units entering service in 1996 and 1997 and four additional units under construction today.
The memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were signed after GEH executives recently led a US nuclear industry trade delegation to India to explore potential opportunities to partner with local companies on future nuclear plant projects.
The new agreements lay the foundation for cooperation between GEH and the two Indian companies as additional steps are taken by the Indian and US governments to implement the agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation they signed in October 2008. These efforts, including adopting a civil liability law and other regulations, continue to progress. India and the International Atomic Energy Agency signed a nuclear safeguards agreement last month in Vienna.
The General Electric Company (GE) built India’s first nuclear plant, the Tarapur 1 & 2 boiling water reactor (BWR) station, during the 1960s.
In addition to the Generation III ABWR, GEH also offers customers its Generation III+ Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). The evolutionary, advanced passive safety design, based on the ABWR, currently is progressing in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s design certification process.