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Updated: February 18, 2010 21:08 IST

'India’s first pair of 700 MW nuke plants to be ready by 2016'

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NPCIL chairman and managing director S.K. Jain. Photo:R. Ragu
The Hindu
NPCIL chairman and managing director S.K. Jain. Photo:R. Ragu

India’s first set of indigenous 700 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors, would be a reality in the next six years, as the excavation work at Kakrapar in Gujarat has already begun, NPCIL chairman and managing director S.K. Jain said.

The Centre had last October given a financial sanction of Rs 24,000 crore for four units of 700 MW of PHWRs, two each at Kakrapar and Rawatbhata in Rajashtan, he said.

“We will begin the first ‘pour of concrete’ next month in Kakrapar and in Rajasthan power project site for reactor raft, and wish to finish the construction of the plants within five years from that day,” Mr. Jain said at the 22nd annual Heavy Water Day here on Wednesday.

“Since the Centre has given financial sanction for these four, we will be completing the procurement order of all components by September this year,” he said.

Mr. Jain said the NPCIL is also initiating pre-project activities at the sites recently approved (in principle) by the Centre — Hissar in Haryana and Burgi in Madhya Pradesh where four more 700 MW (two at each site) are expected to come up.

“Our aim is to complete the pre-project activities within one to one and a half years,” he said.

When asked about the performance of the 220 MW plants, he said the plant load factors have increased to 60 per cent and “we expect 25 per cent more by the end of this year at least in Rajasthan nuclear island which is currently using imported Uranium fuel from France and Russia.”

On the techno-commercial negotiations with Russia and France for setting two more power plants in Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu and two at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Mr. Jain said a number of rounds of talks have already taken place and “we are confident that we will reach some agreement for the plant approval soon.”

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