India’s government announced on 8 August that domestic private firms will be given a major share in all future NPP projects, increasing the share of nationally made content in the nuclear reactors. The government has already started outsourcing work to the private sector for pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) and light water reactor projects.
For domestically designed PHWRs, the private sector will provide plant components, equipment, services in areas including construction, fabrication, and erection of equipment, piping, electrical, instrumentation, and consultancy, auxiliary and logistical services. "With respect to Light Water Reactors (LWR) built with foreign cooperation, India’s private sector will supply of some of the equipment and undertake some of the construction work. The indigenous content in LWRs is planned to be increased progressively," said Jitendra Singh, the junior minister at the department of atomic energy told Parliament.
At the two VVER-1000 units operating at the Kudankulum NPP, which were supplied by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, the local content is 20%. Two more units are under construction and others planned. The overall indigenisation of NPP is expected to surpass 50% with the commissioning of the fifth and the sixth units. Currently, units 3 and 4 are being constructed at a cost of approximately $6 billion, while the $7.5 billion have been allocated for units 5 and 6.
However, the government has made it clear that the private sector will not be allowed any direct involvement in nuclear power generation. "There is no proposal under consideration at present, to permit private sector in the area of nuclear power generation," Minister Jitendra Singh emphasised.