India needs to expand international partnerships to expedite the development of its nuclear plants and meet the target of 63 GWe nuclear power capacity by 2032, the head of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) said on Wednesday.
However, India is running its nuclear plants at 80 per cent of the installed capacity, matching the world average, Rising told PTI at the ongoing five-day Singapore International Energy Week which began on Monday.
"Capacity-wise India has not built so much. India has to pick-up and build more and expand nuclear energy," she said.
Though India is in partnership with Russia to develop its nuclear plants, the country must expand its international partnerships, Rising said.
India and Russia have signed contracts for priority design works and supply of main equipment for units 5 and 6 of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu. Three main contracts were signed between state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) and Russia's JSC Atomstroyexport for priority design works, working design and supply of the main equipment for stage III of Kudankulam NPP.
The NPCIL has also signed an agreement with France's EDF to build six European Pressurized Reactors (EPRs).
Rising also said, "Every country in the world need a direction and policy support to nuclear energy development...If a government lends policy support and set direction, you will get financing, training and easily find good people."
Shah Nawaz Ahmad, WNA's Senior Advisor for India, Middle East and South East Asia, said India has not fully exploited the opportunities for developing nuclear plants and international cooperation on a larger scale would be good for the country's nuclear programme.
Early implementation of the 63 GWe target should make nuclear a significant low-carbon part of India's total energy requirements, he pointed out.
India has seven reactors with a combined capacity of 4.8 GWe under construction. The reactors include the country's indigenously designed 700 MWe units. India has also approved construction of 10 indigenous nuclear reactors with a total capacity of about 7,000 MWe, the WNA noted in a press release.
The WNA is the international organisation that promotes nuclear power and supports the companies that comprise the global nuclear industry. Together, WNA members are responsible for 70 per cent of the world's nuclear power as well as the vast majority of world uranium, conversion and enrichment production.
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