During past few days , media is full of reports about the Central Government’s “ Bold Decision “ to set up 10 Nuclear Power Plants ( totalling 7,000 MW ), at a cost of Rs 70,000 crores
As reported in Hindustan Times / DNA , following “ arguments “ , make this , a “ bold decision “ :
· To pump in Rs 70,000 cr of Capital Expenditure into the economy at a time when private investment continues to flag
· To revive India’s moribund domestic nuclear industry
· To help India ramp up its renewable base-load power capacity
· The sheer amount of money involved gives India’s domestic nuclear firms, to scale up their designs and potentially break the 1,000 MW barrier
· To leverage the domestic nuclear industry’s ability to manufacture reactor components that were third cheaper than the global norm and make India , a global hub of nuclear reactor technology and manufacturing
On face of it , all of the above make for eminent sense !
Until you ask the following questions :
· How come , no nuclear power plants have come up anywhere in the World for past several decades ?
· Why are old Nuclear Power Plants closing down everywhere ?
· If the power produced with these 10 plants is going to cost the consumers , anywhere between Rs 5 – 7 / kwh , how can it compete with the Solar Power at Rs 2 / kwh ? ( just wait this to happen by May 2018 ! )
· Apparently , it will cost Rs 10 cr / MW for setting up a Nuclear Plant as against Rs 5 cr / MW to set up a Solar power plant . What can justify this ?
· Most likely , it will take TEN YEARS to construct / commission these Nuclear plants as against , ONE YEAR to put up SAME CAPACITY , Solar plants ! ( - which , incidentally , is THE TARGET for 2017-18 )
· If the “ economics “ are so bad , which bank will finance these plants ? – knowing fully well that these Rs 70,000 cr will become NPA , even before the plants go on stream !
Bankers are already losing sleep over that the Rs 5 lakh*crore that they have advanced to some 60 + Coal based power plants which are “ under construction “ ( meaning , “ stuck “ ! ) and not likely to ever get completed / commissioned , because no DISCOM is ready to buy their “ expensive “ power at Rs 4 / kwh !
· What about the “ Safety concerns / fears “ of citizens residing near these proposed Nuclear Plants ? Have we forgotten Kudankulum / Jaitapur ?
In case , you need to confirm that this is not a “ bold “ but a “ bad “ decision , do read :
Industry Meltdown: Is the Era of Nuclear Power Coming to an End?
Dear Shri Piyush Goyalji ,
21 May 2017
www.hemenparekh.in / blogs