Nuclear Fuel Complex has developed four new alloys for applications in strategic sectors, including one that a French company denied it last year.

“We now have the confidence to develop a customised alloy for our user, mainly the nuclear sector, in 9-12 months, as we have the most sophisticated seamless tubes facility and trained manpower”, said Chief Executive N. Saibaba.

One of the U tubes, used in steam generators of nuclear power plants, developed by the Hyderabad-based company , is being manufactured by L&T and supplied to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, for an under-construction 700-MW power plant.

“A French company, Vellinox, had refused to provide the tubes, which prompted us to indigenously develop and then sign a contract with L&T to supply them,” said Saibaba. “After the initial supply to Nuclear Power Corporation, we now supply them to L&T, which has bagged the contract worth over a thousand crore for the supply of steam generators. This development reflects successful indigenisation and India’s deepening manufacturing capability in this strategic sector”, Saibaba told Business Line recently.

At present, there are only three companies (Vellinox, Sandvik and L&T-NFC) with the capability to manufacture them globally. L&T has established capabilities to manufacture sub-assemblies and components for the nuclear industry.

NFC, which is the sole supplier of nuclear fuel to the Indian nuclear energy sector, has developed a process to manufacture 30-metre-long tubes, with capability to bend them into a 72-metre radius for use in the 700 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR), the indigenous design that is the standard for all upcoming nuclear power plants, he said.

somasekhar.m@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 22, 2013)
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