Last month, India signed a nuclear energy deal with Sri Lanka. In an email interview, Saurav Jha, an independent energy consultant in India, discussed India’s civilian nuclear export industry.
WPR: What is the extent (expertise, dollar value, market access) of India’s civil nuclear export industry, and how has that evolved since the U.S.-India civil nuclear deal?
Saurav Jha: There are no Indian exports of nuclear power-generating equipment to any country at the moment, aside from a few components. The highest-value nuclear-related export by India currently is heavy water—India is the world’s top producer—to countries such as South Korea and the United States. Heavy water is used as a moderator and coolant in pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR), the current mainstay of India’s power reactor fleet. India is now completely self-reliant along the entire PHWR supply chain and is in a position to export both critical components as well as complete heavy water reactor sets with capacity ranges of 220-, 540- and 700-megawatts. India’s ratification last year of a country-specific additional protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has a long annex covering Indian exports, essentially paves the way for those exports.