Power sector 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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Cabinet approves MoU for establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection

The Union Cabinet has approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Establishment of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Grid Interconnection”.

The MoU will be signed among member states of BIMSTEC at the upcoming third BIMSTEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Nepal.

Key Facts

  • The MoU provides broad framework for members to cooperate towards implementation of grid interconnections for electricity trade to promote rational and optimal power transmission in BIMSTEC region.
  • It also provides optimization of using the energy resources in the region for mutual benefits on non-discriminatory basis subject to rules and regulations, laws of member countries;
  • It also aims to promote efficient, economic, and secure operation of power system needed through the development of regional electricity networks.
  • It also highlights the necessity of optimization of capital investment for generation capacity addition across the region and power exchange through cross border interconnections.
Background
  • BIMSTEC is an international organisation involving a group of 7 countries from South Asia and South East Asia viz. India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand and Myanmar.
  • The first BIMSTEC Energy Ministers’ Conference held in New Delhi in October 2005, had formulated the “Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation in BIMSTEC”.
  • In this plan, under the “BIMSTEC Trans-Power Exchange and Development Project”, Task Force led by Thailand, with representatives of member countries will give report on draft MoU for grid interconnections.
  • Since then total five meetings Task Force were held and the draft MoU for establishment of BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection was finalized in March 2015.
  • In the BIMSTEC Leaders’ Retreat 2016, held in Goa in October 2016, Leaders decided to expedite the signing of the MoU on BIMSTEC Grid Interconnection.

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