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MoEF panel recommends nod for desalination unit

Monday, 15 Apr 2013
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The MoEF panel has recommended coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance for setting up a desalination unit at Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu.

The desalination plant functions on distillation (Mechanical Vapour Compression) principle. Seawater will be drawn from the sea and will be fed to the plant. At KKNPP, the desalination plant consists of four streams each having a capacity of 106.66 cu mtrs per hour.

When the issue came up before the Supreme Court in 2013, the Central Government had cited that desalinated water used as a coolant will be discharged into the sea but this would not affect marine life. In its affidavit, NPCIL that no danger would be caused by spent fuel after being discharged from the nuclear reactor as discharged materials include uranium and plutonium, which constitute about 96 per cent and one per cent of the spent fuel respectively. The remaining three per cent cannot be recycled. In its recent meeting, the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Coastal Regulation Zone recommended the project, suggesting that all the condition stipulated by the Pollution Control Board as well as Tamil Nadu Coastal Zone Management Authority should be comply with.

The project estimated to cost Rs 17,270 crore conceived in 1980, is setting up in partnership with the erstwhile USSR on a turnkey basis. An agreement to this effect was signed on 20th November 1988. However, the disintegration of the Soviet Union has led to the shelving of the project. Subsequently, the project was revived as Russia expressed its willingness to implement the project in association with NPCIL. A new agreement to this effect has been concluded on 21st July 1998. The scheme involves the installation of 2 VVER-1000 advanced light water reactors of 1,000 MWe each for which, Russia would provide technology, fuel and the critical equipment. The plant would use plutonium-uranium carbide as fuel.

NPCIL proposed to float a separate company with private and state government participation in the project in which NPCIL would hold 51 per cent equity. BHEL will manufacture the major components for the project at its Trichy and Hardwar plants.

Lemuir Group provided logistic solutions to the project. Services includes supplier co-ordination from Russia and various locations across the globe, forwarding of general cargo, ship chartering, vessel fixation for break bulk, heavy lifts and over dimensional cargo, jetty construction at project site, mid stream discharge, barge transportation, customs clearance, warehousing management services and delivery at site.


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