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Nuclear Power Marches Forward in BRICS Countries

July 17, 2015 (EIRNS)—Russia’s state-owned Rosatom has indicated the Russian government’s willingness to finance South Africa with the $100 billion capital required to build eight nuclear power plants with the aggregate capacity of 9600 MW, reported the Washington Post today. Rosatom’s regional vice president for sub-Saharan Africa, Viktor Polikarpov, in an interview in Cape Town, said the term of the loan might be 20 years and South Africa would only start repayment when the first plant starts operating, the Post reported.

“The interest rate the government is offering is not very high, it’s really lucrative. We won’t get this interest rate anywhere, at any bank,” Polikarpov said. Five nations—Russia, France, China, the United States, and South Korea—are competing for the contract, “but there is widespread speculation that President Jacob Zuma’s close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has sealed the deal for Rosatom,” iafrica.com reported on July 16.

In China, to speed up bringing on line more nuclear power plants, the State Power Investment Corporation (SPI) has been formed from the merger of China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC). It was launched July 14 in Beijing. CPI was one of five state-owned power generation holding companies, owning 19 operating power plants above 1000 MW each, World Nuclear News reported.

In another BRICS nation, India, the Russian-built Koodankulam 2, a 1000 MW replica of Koodankulam 1, which is now in operation, is now getting ready for commissioning. All construction and licensing work has been completed, World Nuclear News reports.

Meanwhile, Larsen & Toubros board member and heavy engineering president, M.V. Kotwal, told the Indian daily, Business Standard, today that early next year, preparation will begin for ordering four of India’s indigenous pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at 700 MW each, to be located at Gorkahpur, about 80 miles north of New Delhi. Ordering for India’s fast breeder reactor is also expected around then. Larsen & Toubro is one of India’s major manufacturers of PHWRs and their associated equipment.