IOC in talks with NPCIL for small reactors

MUMBAI: State-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd is in preliminary talks with atomic power monopoly to build small nuclear units, an early-stage technology seen as a cost-effective alternative to larger plants.

The refiner and fuel retailer is exploring a partnership with state-controlled Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd to use small modular reactors, or SMRs, in its refineries for clean power, Alok Sharma, Indian Oil’s director for R&D, said at a conference in New Delhi Wednesday.

As several bigger projects face delays, policymakers are promoting small-scale nuclear technology with a capacity of up to 300 MW, which is quicker to build and easier to adjust to the requirements of the grid. To boost the nascent sector, the government is considering allowing private firms to manage and operate reactors.

Besides Indian Oil, NTPC Ltd and ONGC are among companies exploring opportunities in nuclear.

Harry Byrne

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