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Nuclear Power Corporation of India to build more atomic power units in 2020

Thursday, 30 Jul 2020
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The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is planning to start construction of four more nuclear power units in 2020.
Two units of 700 MW will be in Haryana and two units with a capacity of 1,000 MW units in Tamil Nadu. The first indigenous 700 MW reactor is expected to start full power operation towards the latter half of 2020.
The first indigenous 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS-Unit 3) in Gujarat achieved its first criticality (controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction) on 22 July 2020.
The reactor is expected to commence full power operation towards the latter half of 2020. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is monitoring the performance of the unit very closely. Presently two units of 220 MW are there at KAPS.
The KAPS-Unit 3 is the first atomic power unit that will start commercial operations after the second 1,000 MW unit at Kudankulam went on stream a couple of years ago.
NPCIL also plans to commence construction of two new projects -- Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP-two x 700 MW) in Haryana and Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) 5 and 6 units (2x1,000 MW) at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu in the course of 2020.
Apart from the two units in KAPS, NPCIL is building two such units in the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS).
Added to this, 10 more 700 MW units will be set up in a fleet mode to be completed progressively by 2031 involving an outlay of Rs 1,05,000 crore, funded with a debt-equity ratio of 70:30.
The equity will be provided by the government and the debt from market borrowings.
Out of the 16 units of 700 MW PHWRs, the orders for six of the units KAPS 3 and 4, RAPP 7 and 8 and GHAVP 1 and 2 have been placed at different times in line with sanctions of the projects.
In respect of the 10 units sanctioned in fleet mode bulk orders are being placed. The process of placement of orders for materials and long delivery equipment has begun and the cost advantage will emerge once all the orders are placed. The cost per MW of the 700 MW PHWRs is estimated to be about Rs 15 crore.
Apart from the 16 units of 700 MW indigenous PHWRs, India will be setting up four more 1,000 MW reactors bought from Russia's Rosatom of which construction work on two is progressing at Kudankulam. A total of six such units will be set up in KNPP.
With the first 700 MW PHWR attaining criticality, the other indigenously designed reactor 500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu will also attain criticality.
It is in the commissioning stage. The engineers are working there even during the COVID-19 lockdown.
A landmark was achieved when Units 1 and 2 of TAPS (220 MW) completed 50 years of commercial operation during 2020. These are the oldest reactors in the world today and continue to operate safely, delivering excellent performance. The highest-ever annual nuclear power generation of 46,472 million units of electricity was achieved in 2020.


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