Russia eyes manufacture of nuclear power components in India

Friday, 10 June 2016 06:08

Two countries plan to build 12 reactors in next two decades

Russian atomic power corporation Rosatom is looking forward to participating in the Make in India programme and assembly of fuel rods and control system components appear to be on the cards, an official said.

Oleg A. Grigoryev, Vice President of TVEL, Rosatom's fuel company, told IANS in an interview on the sidelines of the Atomexpo 2016 that it was looking forward to assembling fuel rods in India.

On similar lines, Andry Butko, Director of Rusatom Automated Control Systems (RASU), said that some components for nuclear power plants can be assembled in India. Gradually, components can be produced in India for use at home, by Russia and for exports.

This comes as an India-Russia joint venture, the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam, which has two of its reactors up and running while four more are in the pipeline. The two countries also plan to build 12 more reactors in the next two decades.

Grigoryev said his company is open to the proposal for localising some production in India, but added that it will be feasible only when more nuclear reactors are commissioned.

"We understand India has a strong desire to localise; we are open for such cooperation. We can localise the assembly," Grigoryev said.

"The fuel rods can be assembled in India using the fuel pellets we supply. We have already developed and signed a roadmap with schedule and specification of what has to be done, but much depends on the number of units," he said.

"A facility for assembly of fuel rods with just two reactors functioning in the present situation will not be profitable," he said.

Butko, on similar lines, said that India and Russia have a programme for localisation of manufacturing in the field of nuclear power.

"The other aspect is that of deep localisation, when we produce in India some components for India, Russia and also other countries," he said.

RASU is official business integrator of comprehensive industrial automation solutions provided by Rosatom for the international market. It builds the control systems for nuclear power plants, which can be called the brain of the plant.

"Currently India and Russia have a programme for localisation of components of nuclear power plants. There is an intergovernmental agreement on localisation and we are ready to become a part of it with our systems as well," Butko said.

A 'Programme of Action' for localisation of manufacturing in India for Russia-designed nuclear plants was signed between India's Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Rosatom in December 2015.

The programme includes joint machinery production, especially for nuclear power plants, as well as cooperation in the fields of joint development, mastering and technological support for heavy and power engineering industries.

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