Govt okays two 700 MW N-power units at Kaiga

Govt okays two 700 MW N-power units at Kaiga

Time frame for operationalising the units not yet revealed

The new plants will be a part of a bouquet of 18 indigenous nuclear plants, each having 700 MW capacity, which the Nuclear Power Corporation of India wants to set up in the next decade. Other sites to house the 700 MW home-made units include the existing Narora station in Uttar Pradesh and four new locations, the Parliament was informed last week.

The detailed time frame for operationalising these units, however, has not been revealed. The new sites are Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan, Bhimpur and Chutka in Madhya Pradesh and Gorakhpur in Haryana. Water availability in Kaiga and Narora would permit only two new large units. But barring Chutka, other three new sites will have four reactors at each place, to be constructed in two phases.

As many as four 700 MW units are under construction at the moment. The Rs 11,459 crore third and fourth units at Kakrapar (Gujarat) are scheduled to be finished by 2015-16 whereas Rs 12,320 crore seventh and eighth units at Rawatbhata (Rajasthan) where construction began last month would be completed by 2016-17. “All the requirements of embarking on large nuclear power programme and completing the projects on time are being addressed. A joint venture for turbo-generators of 700 MW is proposed to be set up between NPCIL, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and Alstom, France,” said V Narayansamy, the minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office.

A joint venture between NPCIL and Larsen and Tubro had been incorporated to manufacture special steels and forgings required for manufacture of nuclear components, he said. The government had previously allocated four sites – Haripur in West Bengal, Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh and Chhaya Mithi Virdi in Gujarat – for foreign suppliers from Russia, France and USA to set up 30 nuclear power plants with a total installed capacity of 33,900 MW. Establishing the first two units at Jaitapur is stuck due to regulatory bottleneck and agitation at the site. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and Haryana have offered six fresh sites to the department of atomic energy for setting up nuclear power plants. All the sites including Mannur in Bijapur district were being evaluated by the standing site selection committee of the government, Narayansamy said.

In addition to the indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors and imported ones, the Centre sanctioned setting up two 500 MW fast breeder reactors at Kalpakkam.

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