"We are all set to begin talks with American companies, Westinghouse Electric Company and General Electric, and discuss how the business can happen and conclude the talks as early as possible," Chairman and Managing Director of NPCIL S K Jain said.
- Edited By Chris Reed -
India's Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Nuclear Power Corporation will begin negotiations with American nuclear energy majors following clearance of the Nuclear Liability Bill, a top NPCIL official said today. "We are all set to begin talks with American companies, Westinghouse Electric Company and General Electric, and discuss how the business can happen and conclude the talks as early as possible," Chairman and Managing Director of NPCIL S K Jain said. "Since the 'Arrangements and Procedures' are in place, we have to find ways and means to implement it and move forward in having collaboration with American companies in building civilian nuclear power plants during the next two decades," Jain said. The representatives of American nuclear industries also confirmed that they have been invited by DAE and NPCIL to discuss business plans. On August 30, Parliament had adopted nuclear liability bill with the government insisting that the compensation package for victims matches that of the US and it was still open to accommodate some suggestions. Reacting to the legislation the US yesterday said there are "couple of issues" raised by American companies about the new law and it would be "wise" for India to ensure consistency between its regulations and that of other countries. After the passing of the legislation both DAE and Atomic Energy Regulatory Board have begun framing rules for the nuclear liability law, DAE officials said. Regarding power plants, coming up in collaboration with Russia at Kudankulam Atomic Power Project (KAPP) in Tamil Nadu, Jain said first two units of 1000 MW each are nearing completion and fuel loading for Unit 1 is expected to take place in December and will be commissioned in January next. The KAPP Unit 2 will be commissioned around May or June next year, he added. About progress of KAPP Units 3 and 4, Jain said technical and commercial negotiations with Russians have been finalized and details have been worked out on the two units, which will be up to 60-65 per cent unlike the Units 1 and 2 where 100 per cent equipment supply was from Russia. When asked about negotiations on price, NPCIL CMD said, "few rounds of talks have taken place and few more rounds will be held to finalize it." Leveling of ground for KAPP Units 3, 4, 5 and 6 have been completed, and tenders have been floated for excavation work for power plant Units 3 and 4, Jain said. "We are expecting first pour of concrete for Units 3 and 4 by June next year. Construction of peripheral infrastructure are being carried out on a war footing."
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