Companies from Britain are expected to initiate talks with Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) and private sector companies such as Larsen and Toubro, Godrej and Kirloskar to become part of the supply chain. Though British companies are not engaged in the supply of reactors, they have evinced interest in the supply of a number of components and for providing enrichment capabilities, said a senior NPC official.
The move come following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's announcement on negotiations for a nuclear energy agreement with Britian.
UK companies have expertise in enrichment capabilities. The UK is not a uranium producer but companies can convert enriched uranium into fuel. They are keen to tap opportunities in the conversion business, considering the huge fuel requirement in India. The PM’s announcement comes as NPC proposes to increase its capacity to 63,000 mw by 2032 from the present 4,780 mw, through indigenous and foreign reactors.
British companies are also keen to bag fabrication contracts. India and the UK had signed a joint declaration on civil nuclear cooperation in 2010 but the Fukushima nuclear accident took place in March 2011 and the subsequent review of safety applications had hampered talks.
SK Jain, former chairman and managing director of NPC, said that during his tenure, discussions with UK companies took place with regard to their becoming part of the supply chain for supply of fuel and nuclear components, and construction of reactors with foreign collaboration.