Plant to add 10.56 mu of power to the southern grid by next year

90 per cent of work has been completed with regard to Unit 3 The total project cost is Rs. 3,282 crore Functioning of the first two units satisfactory: official

Kaiga: The Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant, India's sixth nuclear plant, will add 10.56 million units of power to the southern grid by 2007 by commissioning Unit 3 and 4 of 220 MW each.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) project director Harsh Kapoor told visiting newspersons from Bangalore that Unit 3 was expected to attain criticality by December this year and the Unit 4 six months from then.

He said 90 per cent of the work had been completed with regard to Unit 3. Simultaneously major works on Unit 4 had also been carried out. The total project cost stood at Rs. 3,282 crore, he added.

Mr. Kapoor said civil construction activities of Unit 3 and installation of common structures had been completed, except for minor finishing works like painting, floor finishing and false ceiling. All common utility systems like power, water and fire were in place and the main secondary and primary systems were in advanced stage of testing and commissioning.

Mr. Kapoor said: "The hydro test of the main primary heat transport system of Unit 3 is one of the major milestones in construction and commissioning of the nuclear power plant unit. A precursor to the light water commissioning is also scheduled to be carried out early next month. The primary containment dome of the reactor had already been already cast. Balance civil construction was expected to be completed by August."

All major installations like calandria end shield installation and coolant channel installation and steam generator erection had already been completed in Unit 4 and piping work was in progress, he said.

Mr. Kapoor said the functioning of the first two units of 220 MW each was satisfactory and it was generating 10.58 mu of power every day.

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre had established a laboratory in the plant to continuously monitor environmental aspects.

Centre officer-in-charge P.M. Ravi said every month a report would be sent to the head office after studying the project's effects on plants and species in and around 30 villages. Besides, the centre had become a research centre for students doing doctorate. Students from Mangalore University would also be studying the effects of the plant on environment, he said.

Kaiga station director G. Nageshwara Rao said more than 2.5 lakh saplings had been planted in and around the plant and many social activities taken up in nearby villages.

About 20 poor children from the nearby villages were selected every year and provided education.

To a question, he said all security aspects had been taken care of at the plant. UNI