The government is working with a group of experts and officials of Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Finance Ministry and insurance companies to work out the modalities of providing insurance cover to existing and new nuclear power plants, a senior official said here today.
R K Sinha, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission told this to reporters after flagging off the world's second largest gamma ray telescope to Ladakh, where it will be installed.
According to him, government is working towards forming a nuclear insurance pool to cover the nuclear facilities, involving state-owned General Insurance Company and New India Insurance.
"We are on the way to find a solution (to liability law concerns). We will be putting in place a mechanism to cover the risk through insurance (for nuclear plants)," Sinha, told media persons, he said.
In order to address the liability issue that has held up deals with various countries, the central government earlier said it decided to form a Nuclear Insurance Pool that will have a number of stakeholders to meet the requirement of huge financial cover in case of a mishap.
Under the Liability Law, compensation of up to Rs 1,500 crore will have to be paid in case of a mishap involving a nuclear plant. At present, India has 20 nuclear plants and their number is expected to grow as the industry expands.
The Department of Atomic Energy has been pursuing the issue of bringing the nuclear plants under insurance cover, with the Ministry of Finance, NPCIL and insurance companies, he added.
On the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant, Sinha said the department is clear that the cost of power from the plant in Maharashtra should not be more than Rs 6.50 per unit.
Sinha said they are holding discussions with French suppliers Areva on the pricing issue, with the latter indicating the price should be about Rs 9 a unit. "We have conveyed them (Areva) our stand," he said.
Sinha flagged off the telescope designed by state-owned Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) in Hyderabad to Hanle region in Ladakh, where it will finally be installed to study the universe.
"The Rs 45-crore mammoth structure will be operational in Ladakh by early 2016 after the telescope is reassembled there and some scientific trials and calibrations are carried out," P Sudhakar, Chairman and Managing Director of ECIL, said.