India-US Current Affairs

US postpones 2+2 dialogue with India

United States  of America (US) has postponed its inaugural 2+2 dialogue with India which was scheduled to be held on July 6, 2018 in Washington DC, citing “unavoidable reasons”. Both countries are now identifying new mutually convenient dates to hold dialogue at the earliest, either in India or in US. This is third time that 2+2 dialogue has been postponed in the last six months.

India-US 2+2 Dialogue

India-US 2+2 Dialogue format was agreed to between two countries during visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to US in June, 2017. It was aimed at replacing earlier India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. It is aimed enhancing strategic coordination between both countries and maintaining peace and stability in Indo-Pacific region. It puts strategic, defence and security relationship between the two countries at the forefront and centre stage. It insulates India-US strategic relationship from feuds over trade issues and deep divide on economic integration policies as trade and commercial issues that collided with strategic relationship between both countries’ discussed in Strategic and Commercial Dialogue earlier. It is similar to India-Japan 2+2 dialogue format between foreign and defence secretaries of the two countries.

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Jaitapur nuclear plant: France’s EDF and GE sign deal to build 6 nuclear reactors

French state-run power utility EDF and American conglomerate General Electric (GE) have signed strategic cooperation agreement with State-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to build for construction of 6 EPR (European Pressurized Reactors) type nuclear reactors of capacity 1,650 megawatt (MW) each at Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra.

Key Facts

This strategic cooperation agreement is for long term partnership for construction of conventional island on each of 6 reactor units of Jaitapur nuclear plant. GE Power will design conventional island for the plant and supply its main components. EDF will supply EPR technology and will be responsible for building and coordinating industrial partners for this project. It will be responsible for engineering integration covering entire project (nuclear island, conventional island and auxiliary systems) and will provide all the requisite input data.

Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant

It is proposed 9900 MW nuclear power project to come at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra (west coast of India). State-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is builder and operator of this plant. It will be built under Indo-France Civil Nuclear Deal signed in December 2010.

It will have 6 EPR designed and developed by Areva of France, each of 1650 MW, thus totalling 9900 MW. EPR is third generation pressurised water reactors (PWR). The estimated cost of this project was around US $15 billion (Rs. 1,000 billion). Consortium of French financial institutions will finance this project as a loan.

The layout of nuclear power plant comprises two major parts — nuclear island and conventional (turbine) island. The nuclear island is heart of nuclear power plant, while conventional (turbine) island houses key component which extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam and converts it into electrical energy.

On completion, Jaitapur power plant would be world’s largest nuclear power generating station by net electrical power rating. It will also play pivotal role in achieving Union Government’s ambitious target of 22,480 mw nuclear power generation capacity by 2031.

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