The era of international civil nuclear cooperation has commenced with India signing a string of agreements with France, Russia and other friendly nations to reenergize its nuclear energy programme for peaceful purposes, and the Nuclear Suppliers Group nod. The gap between demand and supply of power in our country is substantial and over the next few decades, the growth of nuclear power is expected to be phenomenally high, as is evident from the contents of The Integrated Energy Policy which recognizes the potential of nuclear energy in providing long-term energy security to the country through its three stage Nuclear Power Programme. The recent developments throw up unprecedented opportunities for bright engineers (B.E/ B.Tech./ M.E/ M.Tech.) and doctorates (Ph.D in areas related to nuclear science and engineering) to manifest their career aspirations while riding the crest of this growth wave.
If IT parks were the preferred destinations of bright engineering professionals in the previous decade, nuclear parks hold the same promise for them in the decade ahead.
All future nuclear reactors in India will be located in nuclear parks, the first of which is being set up in Jaitapur in Maharashtra. Each of these nuclear parks would have between eight to ten nuclear reactors, all of same type and capacity, which will be set up in phases. To catalyze the capacity addition process for meeting the overwhelming electricity needs, international cooperation in nuclear energy has already commenced with the recent empowering initiatives of the Government. NPCIL has proposed to start work on 10 LWRs (Light Water Reactors) each of 1000 MWe/or larger capacity, in the XI Plan. This will be in addition to 8 new Nuclear Reactors, each of 700 MWe capacity, totaling to 5600 MWe capacity proposed during the same plan. With the completion of ongoing projects and the proposed new reactors, the installed capacity of nuclear power will touch about 10,000 MWe.
All the enablers have thus fallen in place and the path is now charted for nuclear energy to grow to its full potential. This is perhaps, one of the very rare businesses which has upscaled its targets manifold. Implementation of the sixth pay commission recommendations has made NPCIL even more attractive as a workplace with compensation, benefits and perks taken together being on par with those offered in the best of companies anywhere. The company has been traditionally attracting the best of engineering talent and statistics show that the average career tenure here has been much longer than in similar industries elsewhere.
To run its three-pronged new model encompassing business as usual, international collaborative ventures and diversification in hydel and renewable energy, NPCIL calls upon bright, young engineers and doctorates to become active contributors to this next revolution in power generation. The career paths available for ambitious candidates with a zeal to excel and grow are many. NPCIL is one of the very few nuclear utilities in the world with the competence and capability to undertake a wide range of activities in-house, under one roof. These include site selection, design, procurement, construction, project management, contracts and materials management, quality assurance, commissioning, operation and maintenance.