Skip to main content

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.

---

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.

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…