Monday, December 08, 2008

France, America, Russia: India and the Nuclear Trifecta

energy-vision-10 You may be fairly sure that if a country expresses an interest in partnering with other countries to develop or enhance its nuclear industry that the big three - France, America and Russia - will come around in one order or another. But they'll all come calling.

Any thought that the 123 agreement with the United States might forestall Russian interest in a similar arrangement may now be set aside:

Russia and India on Friday signed landmark accords on issues ranging from nuclear energy to space exploration, as President Dmitry Medvedev met Indian leaders in a bid to bolster ties.

The accords covered the building of four new nuclear energy reactors in Kudankulam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, a co-operation accord on a space flight manned by Indian astronauts, and a contract for Russia to supply 80 MI-17V-5 helicopters for the Indian Army.

We have no particular opinion about this, except to note that India is exceptionally well positioned to grow its industrial base without creating the concomitant carbon outlay. China and India, as growing economies, could easily blow the roof off any global climate change policy and both are looking to nuclear energy as a way to mitigate the possibility. Good for them, and if Russia wants to play a part - and make some money - good for them, too.

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And there's more, from the same story:

The two sides also signed an accord that envisages Russia sending an Indian astronauts [sic? - probably an Indian on a Russian flight] into space in 2013 and then launch a manned Indian spacecraft in 2015, officials said. 

Perhaps more symbolic than practical, but a potent sign of India's growing technological prowess - and a focus for national pride, too.

The Kudankulam atomic power project. We expect a restaurant in town serving up a good borscht or kvass would not go amiss.

2 comments:

djysrv said...

For a review of the challenges and opportunities in the nuclear energy market for India see this article.

"India enters the nuclear renaissance"

Pragati
The Indian National Interest Review
No 21 Dec 2008
ISSN 0973-8460

http://pragati.nationalinterest.in/2008/12/joining-the-nuclear-renaissance/

Anonymous said...

Aren't the Russians going ahead with selling India four VVER's?

Didn't GE-Hitachi ecently send a delegation to India for ABWR or ESBWR?

I think one of the things that's slowing the American progress is how the next Administration is going to take India's not having signed the nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty. Yes, we all know that VVERs, AP1000s, ESBWRs and ABWRs can't be used for weapons-grade plutonium production, BUT there's a fear that providing commercial uranium fuel relief to India will free up whatever indigenous resources it has to produce more weapons grade fuel, especially in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks on Mumbai (did I spell that right?) and India's worry that Pakistan, its nuclear rival, is responsible.

It would be sad if the next Administration back-tracked on this. If India finds Russia and France can supply what it needs more quickly than the Americans, then we are screwed. They'll divide up the 4 plants designated to the US over to France and Russia.