Growth of nuclear energy in India: industrial challenges and prospects

The Indian nuclear energy program is at crossroads, with several alternative pathways of industrial development potentially open to it. These possibilities include options for technology selection and development, as well as for organising the efforts of the state owned entities and private companies. The nuclear energy program also sets and aspires to target installed capacity through mid-century. This paper traces the development of the Indian nuclear industry and the role that key entities – international vendors, private companies and domestic decision-makers – have played in its development, diagnoses and proposes solutions to the challenges the nuclear energy program faces as it plans an expansion to several hundred gigawatts by 2050. Through 2020, uninterrupted construction of nuclear plants is essential for increasing the productivity of companies in the manufacturing sector and preventing the atrophy of skills and attrition of the workforce.