NPC pursues capacity addition plans
State-run Nuclear Power Corporation is pursuing plant development work in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Harayana despite opposition to nuclear power generation.
These projects are based on procurement of nuclear reactors, especially from Areva, GE-Hitachi, Westinghouse and from domestic suppliers. Moreover, despite stoppage of work at units 1 and 2 of 1,000 Mw each at the Kudankulam plant site, NPC is carrying out pre-project activities for units 3 and 4. Reactors for the Kudankulam project were being procured from Russia.
Recently, the NPC board reviewed the progress made at the project site. An NPC official, who did not want to be identified, said on Monday that the 1987-founded corporation’s pre-project activities were on in full swing. “We are open to dialogue with those raising objections,” he told Business Standard. “We have stepped up our outreach programme at the plants that are in operation and where new projects are planned.” He clarified that the government had reiterated its plan to pursue nuclear capacity addition programme by strengthening safety applications, especially in the wake of the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami in Japan a year ago.
As for the units 3 and 4 of Kudankulam project down-country, getting environment clearance from the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board was under progress. Also, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board was reviewing the consent for excavation. About 55 per cent work for first priority design was completed, and the expansion of the township was in progress.
In case of 6×1, the 650-Mw Jaitapur project in Maharashtra, where the Shiv Sena and villagers were opposing the project on the Konkan Coast, the NPC has completed the construction of a three-km boundary wall. The company has established an information centre at Ratnagiri for public awarness, and the work was in progress for on-shore geo-technical investigations. NPC was discussing amendment to the early works agreement with Areva in the light of the Fukushima accident on March 11 last year.
Further, NPC has completed extreme value analysis for meteorological parameters and statistical data for 6×1,000 Mw light-water reactors at Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat. The work was in progress on flood studies and also on seismotechtonic studies. Pre-operation radiological survey report was being finalised.
In Andhra Pradesh, NPC has completed radiological survey by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre for 6×1,000 Mw light-water reactor at Kovvada project in the state’s north coastal district of Srikakulam. Also, the work on environment monitoring by Environment Protection and Training Research Institute was in progress. NPC is expected to step up negotiations with GE Hitachi for the supply of six ESBWRs.