Kaiga to get two new indigenous N-plants

Govt okays 10 such units of 700 MW capacity each

Kaiga to get two new  indigenous N-plants
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of 10 new indigenous nuclear power reactors of 700 MW capacity each, including two at Kaiga in Karnataka. The two reactors at Kaiga are likely to produce electricity for commercial use only by the middle of the next decade.

The pre-project activities began for Kaiga 5 and 6 units, but the first large reactor at Kaiga was likely to go on stream only around 2024-25, sources in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) told DH.

While Karnataka gets 27% of electricity from Kaiga 1 and 2, and 30% from Kaiga 3 and 4 units, the state would get almost 50% of electricity when the fifth and sixth units will start generating power.

The first two 220 MW units at Kaiga became operational in 2000, whereas the third unit came in 2007 and the fourth one in 2011.

Besides Kaiga, the other units would be set up at Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan (four units of 700 MW capacity each), Gorakhpur in Haryana (2 units) and Chutka in Madhya Pradesh (2 units).

The approval of the 10 reactors on fleet mode is likely to generate manufacturing orders of close to Rs 70,000 crore to the domestic nuclear industry.

The fleet mode clearance would cut down on the time currently needed for approving individual projects, besides bringing flexibility on fund allocation, depending on the progress made by each project.

Besides strengthening India’s credentials as a nuclear manufacturing powerhouse, the Cabinet decision was expected to generate more than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment in the nuclear sector, said an official. Currently, India’s installed nuclear power capacity is 6,780 MW from 22 operational plants.

Bigger units
After years of constructing small 220 MW nuclear power units, the DAE and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd graduated to larger units almost 15 years ago.

The first two 540 MW units at Tarapur in Maharashtra became operational in 2005-06, following which work began on the 700 MW units.

However, the four 700 MW under-construction Indian reactors — two each in Kakrapar in Gujarat and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan — are now delayed by over two years.

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