Nuclear Energy Current Affairs

India ranks third in nuclear power installations: study

According to World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2017, India with six installed nuclear reactors ranks third in world, while China is leading at 20 installed nuclear reactors.

Key Highlights of Report

Decline in Nuclear Reactors: The number of nuclear reactor units under construction is declining globally for fourth year in a row, from 68 reactors at end of 2013 to 53 by mid-2017. Most nuclear reactor constructions are behind schedule, with delays resulting in increase in project costs and delay in power generation.

Delay in Projects: Globally, there are 37 reactor constructions behind schedule, of which 19 reported further delays over past year. In India itself, five out of six reactors under construction are behind schedule. Eight nuclear power projects have been under construction globally for a decade or more, of which three have been so for over 30 years.

Nuclear power vs Renewable energy: Debate regarding value of nuclear energy “is over” especially nuclear power vs renewable energy development. It reveals that since 1997, worldwide, renewable energy has produced four times as many new kilowatt-hours of electricity than nuclear power.

Power generation: Globally it has increased by 1.4% in 2016 due to a 23% increase in China, but it is stagnated at 10.5%. By comparison, globally, wind power output grew by 16% and solar power by 30%. Wind power increased 3.8 times, and solar power by 2.2 times more than nuclear power respectively. Renewables represented 62% of global power generating capacity additions.

Shutting down of nuclear plants: Russia and US have shut down reactors in 2016. Sweden and South Korea also have closed their oldest units in first half of 2017.

Financial crisis in nuclear Industry: In recent years, financial crisis plaguing nuclear industry. Toshiba has filed for bankruptcy of its US subsidiary Westinghouse, largest nuclear power builder in history. France’s AREVA also has accumulated $12.3 billion in losses over past six years. French government has provided it $5.3 billion bailout and continues its break-up strategy.

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India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

The landmark India-Japan civil nuclear agreement came into force. In this regard, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar exchanged the diplomatic notes with the Japanese envoy to India to formalise the completion of the process.

The deal would enable Japan to export nuclear power plant technology as well as provide finance for nuclear power plants in India. It will also assist India in nuclear waste management and could undertake joint manufacture of nuclear power plant components under the Make in India initiative.

Background

The India-Japan Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy was signed in Tokyo during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan in November 2016. Subsequently, the Japanese government also got approval from the Diet (Japanese Parliament) for the nuclear deal with India. India is the only non-Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) signatory country with which Japan has entered into a civil nuclear deal, giving recognition for India’s impeccable non-proliferation record. Till now, India has also signed civil nuclear deal with 10 other countries viz. Russia, United States, France, South Korea, Mongolia, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.

Comment

The India-Japan civil nuclear agreement reflects of the strategic partnership between India and Japan and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy. It will also promote full cooperation between the two countries in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis.

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