India's request for reference plants holds high significance as it already cancelled a proposal made by GE Hitachi economic simplified boiling water reactor (ESBWR) units in Kovvada because the company could not do so. The Kovvada nuclear ppower plant has now been to Westinghouse Electric.
Westinghouse is building four AP1000 reactors each in the U.S. and China, while EDF is installing EPR reactors in France, UK and China. But the companies have not been able to operationalize any nuclear power plant. Westinghouse claims that its first AP1000 reactor in China may start by the end of this year. It is already three years behind the schedule.
EDF is facing a severe financial crunch and the delay in its projects has further complicated the situation. EDF had given Flamanville nuclear power plant as a reference plant but uncertainty looms large over the completion of project in the near term as it is being inspected by the French government over quality issues. The other EPR in Finland is also behind schedule and costs have been jumped three times than projected.
Shekhar Basu, India's top bureaucrat in the Ministry of Atomic Energy, makes it clear that reference plants for Westinghouse's AP1000 reactors and EDF's EPR pressurized-water reactors should be presented to India by the time the two companies start construction.
Indian authorities are concerned over financial health of EDF as its former director recently claimed that it is in worst-ever financial situation. Experts claim that the company's deteriorating financial health is impeding the safety and maintenance of its dozen plants in France.