State-owned engineering firm Bharat Heavy Electricals and Nuclear Power Corporation have inked an initial pact to jointly pursue business opportunities in nuclear power based on pressurised heavy water reactor technology. Under the pact, BHEL and NPCIL will jointly explore opportunities for the development of nuclear power projects to reduce project gestation time.
"State-run PSUs Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) have entered into an MoU (memorandum of understanding) to jointly pursue business opportunities in the area of Nuclear Power Plants based on Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) technology," a statement said on Wednesday.
In the presence of VK Saraswat (Member – NITI Aayog), KN Vyas (Secretary – Department of Atomic Energy & Chairman – Atomic Energy Commission) and Kamran Rizvi (Secretary – Ministry of Heavy Industries), the MoU was signed by BHEL CMD Nalin Shinghal and Bhuwan Chandra Pathak, CMD – NPCIL at Niti Aayog. Senior officials of the Department of Atomic Energy, Ministry of Heavy Industries, BHEL and NPCIL were also present during the occasion.
BHEL is a leading manufacturer of power plant equipment (nuclear, hydro, thermal, and renewables) and is the only Indian company to be actively associated with all three stages of the Indian Nuclear Programme (first stage PHWR; second stage FBR and third stage AHWR), providing sustainable and customer-centric solutions for over five decades.
The company has the capability to design, engineer, manufacture and supply primary side (reactor headers, end shields, etc.) as well as secondary side (steam turbines, generators, heat exchangers, etc.) equipment for nuclear power plants. BHEL has supplied steam turbine generator sets for nearly 50 per cent of the country's total installed nuclear capacity.
Its steam turbine generator set for Unit 1 (220 MW) of NPCIL's Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant in Karnataka created a world record of 962 days of continuous operation in December 2018, proving the best-integrated performance of the nuclear reactor and turbine system. With the operation of 22 commercial nuclear power plants in India, NPCIL is the sole Indian organisation responsible for the design, construction and operation of thermal nuclear power plants in India and has over 580 reactor years of safe operating experience.
Collaboration of the two major Public Sector Enterprises will pave the way for early implementation of non-polluting and long-cycle nuclear power projects, which will also complement the G20 theme of environmental sustainability and contribute towards a cleaner and greener future.