India and the US will jointly develop small modular reactors.

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Chennai: The US and India are collaborating to create the next generation of compact modular reactor technology for both domestic and international markets.

In a joint statement released by the US White House, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted “the ongoing discussion on developing next generation small modular reactor technologies in a collaborative mode for the domestic market as well as for export” during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the US.

Small modular reactors are those that are compact and have a capacity of under 300 MW. Manufacturers of nuclear power equipment, including Rosatom in Russia, EDF in France, and NuScale Energy in the US, are increasingly focusing on the small modular reactor market. Small is currently attractive, and manufacturers of nuclear power plants are considering populating their small modular reactors all over the world.

Small modular reactors are preferred by manufacturers of nuclear power plants because they have a shorter gestation period, longer energy generation times, and lower hazards, according to experts.

According to Director General of Rosatom Alexey Likhachev, the world’s first land-based small modular reactor (SMR) with RITM-200N is scheduled to be commissioned in 2028 in Russia’s Arctic area. While doing so, Biden and Modi emphasised the crucial role nuclear energy plays in efforts to reduce carbon emissions globally and reaffirmed its status as a resource required to address a country’s needs in the areas of climate change, energy transition, and energy security.

“The leaders noted ongoing negotiations between the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC) for the construction of six nuclear reactors in India,” the statement reads.

In-depth discussions are taking place between the US Department of Energy and India’s Department of Atomic Energy to help WEC build a techno-commercial offer for the Kovvada nuclear project in India. “The United States reaffirms its support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and commits to continue engagement with like minded partners to advance this goal,” the joint statement read.


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