Nuclear Power corporation (NPCIL) on Saturday said the 220 MW unit of Rajasthan Atomic Power Project at Rawatbhata near Kota has commenced commercial operation.

This new indigenous unit using imported Russian fuel was synchronised to the Northern Grid for the first time on December 22 last year and began commercial operation from February 4, 2010, a NPCIL release said.

With the commissioning of this unit, number of nuclear power reactors in commercial operation has increased to 18 with a total installed capacity 4,340 MW.

The tariff of the power supplied from this unit also will be comparable with other 17 operating units of NPCIL-below three rupees, a company official said.

Operation of RAPS-5 in Rajasthan increases the nuclear installed capacity at Rawatbhata Site to 960 MW. The generation of RAPS-5 will be shared by the states in Northern Electricity Region. The unit is fuelled with imported uranium.

NPCIL said, Unit-6 of RAPP, also a 220 MW had achieved first criticality (controlled nuclear chain reaction) on January 23 and is currently going through statutory tests in preparation for the first synchronisation and commencement of commercial operation by the end of this month.