Nuclear sector to recruit 2000 engineers every year

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Nuclear sector to recruit 2000 engineers every year
Mumbai: Now apart from IT industry, engineering students have an option to enter into the nuclear sector, as it is being expected that the country would need about 2,000 trained nuclear engineers every year to staff the increased capacity.

Indian government is planning a five-fold ramp-up in the existing nuclear power capacity by 2020 and a strong interest by global majors to shift manufacturing operations to India.

Currently, the number of specialist nuclear post-graduates and PhDs from IITs and other universities is only about 50 people every year. The supply is limited as only a few IITs - Kanpur and Mumbai - the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and few other universities offer specialized courses. In addition, Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), the sole nuclear power generator in the country, has a capacity to train 250 people annually, while the department of atomic energy schools around 500-700 people every year.

"The existing situation (for trained nuclear technologists) is stretched. If BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) opens its training facilities for non-BARC students also, it could help the industry," says MV Kotwal, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) Board Member. L&T is spearheading the private sector's thrust into nuclear power generation. The government plans to add 20,000 mw of nuclear power generation capacity by 2020, after India and the U.S. jointly agreed in May to cooperate on civil nuclear energy programme. India also signed a similar agreement with France.

According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers India, additional trained manpower requirement for supporting proposed nuclear power generation projects is in the range of 10,000 to 19,000 people (based on the norm of 1 to 1.4 person per mw). "The industry usually hires and trains such professionals in-house," says Kameswara Rao, Executive Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers India. The attrition in this sector is the lowest at about 3-5 percent, while it is as high as 10-12 percent in other streams of engineering.

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