Self-sufficiency in uranium by 2013: Kakodkar

Exploration of the metal under way at Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh

 Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Dr Anil Kakodkar addresses a press conference in Kalpakkam on Sunday. PTIWith the Jadugoda Uranium mill in Jharkhand expanded and the proposed expansion of Turamdih mill expected to be over next year, uranium production would go up.

Besides, exploration of uranium is underway at Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh and it is expected to go on stream by 2013, he told reporters here.

Kakodkar was here on the occasion of five years of the propellant reaction project at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research attaining criticality.

“We are also working to explore uranium at Gogi near Gulbarga in Karnataka,” he said and  hoped that a proposed project at Meghalaya would also be cleared soon.

Best reactors

Stating that the existing reactors were world class, Kakodkar said: “We will also put in continuous efforts to further improve their performance through our research and development team.”

The Centre had given approval, in principle, for setting up a 4X700 MW nuclear power reactor unit. There are also plans to set up another 4x700 MW power unit,” he said but did not divulge details. Kakodkar also dismissed as “absolutely untrue”, the media reports of increase in radioactivity level in and around the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research here.

“There are strict regulations in terms of radiation levels as well as the release of radioactivity. We maintain Environment Survey Laboratories (ESL), which is strictly monitoring the radioactivity level in the environment, including soil and vegetation,” he said.

He said the levels of radioactivity here were much lower than the ones prevalent in other areas.

On the security measures undertaiken in and around the Kalpakkam nuclear plant, he said, “This is a matter, we need to remain alert all along. We have this under constant review. Depending on the requirement everything has been put in place,” he said.

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