Gurmukh Singh, Ottawa
As India and Canada resume nuclear ties after 36 years, Indian companies discussed partnerships with their Canadian counterparts at the Nuclear Industry Conference and Trade Show which ended here Friday. The annual three-day trade show was organized by the Canadian Nuclear Association, a representative body of Canadian nuclear companies.
An Indian delegation led by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) associate director F Vohra also included representatives from L&T Infotech, DM Corporation and Avasarala Technologies Ltd.
“We have started discussions to formalize two or three memorandums of understanding. We met many Canadian companies to discuss joint ventures in India. We offered to become their vendors in the burgeoning nuclear energy market in India,” Vijay Joshi, director of Kolhapur-based DM Corporation, told IANS.
As India plans to raise its nuclear power capacity from 7000 MW currently to 63,000MW by 2032, Joshi said, “Canadian companies have a huge opportunity to bid jointly with India companies for tenders. It is a business worth billions of dollars as its costs Rs 700 crore to generate one MW of nuclear energy as of now.”
The Indian representative said, “With it thrust on developing an indigenous nuclear energy programme, India insists on 60 percent indigenous component in nuclear power plants. So all these countries – US, Russia, France and others – which have got contracts to build nuclear plants will need indigenous component. “We invited Canadian nuclear companies to join our eight-company consortium to participate in the Indian nuclear business.”
This was the first high-level interaction by Indian nuclear companies with their Canadian counterparts after the two countries signed a nuclear agreement during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visit here for the G-20 summit last year.
Since India’s nuclear program started with a CANDU reactor donated by Canada in the early 1950s, India was invited to the nuclear show by the Organization of CANDU Industries (OCI). CANDU stands for Canadian Deuterium Uranium in reference to the use of natural uranium and deuterium oxide (heavy water) in Canadian-invented reactors.
But Canada snapped nuclear ties with New Delhi after the 1974 Pokhran test, alleging that India used its CANDU technology to make the bomb. It took the two countries 36 years to resume nuclear ties last year after the the Nuclear Suppliers Groups (NSG) allowed India access to nuclear technology and fuel in 2009.
Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at email@example.com