Gestation period of n-power plants to be reduced

HYDERABAD May 22. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd planned to cut the gestation period of nuclear power plants to four years and less instead of the usual five or six years and reduce their cost.

This was stated here on Thursday by P.K. Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director of the Corporation and a member of the Atomic Energy Commission, at the inauguration of a two-day seminar on ``preventive vigilance'' organised by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) at the Nuclear Fuel Complex, here.

Delivering the plenary address, Mr. Chaturvedi cited the example of Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Rajasthan whose gestation period would be cut to less than four years.

The objective was that in the case of high debts the gestation period should be low.

The corporation was going in for mega packages and working with organisations such as BHEL and L&T which had wide experience and competence.

Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of DAE, emphasised the importance of utilising the country's rich thorium possession, estimated to be one-third in the world, for generating nuclear energy.

Mr. Kakodkar said that though this was a challenge, the country was confident of achieving it, thanks to the infrastructure and technology available with the department.

He expressed the happiness that the performance of nuclear reactors in the country was found to be the best in the world.

It was this technology which enabled the country to overcome the restrictive domain brought about by sanctions in the 1990s.

He underlined the importance of vigilance as the department was handling huge public funds. It was necessary that it should have clarity on rules and procedures, which form part of a vigilance set-up.

Earlier, the Central Vigilance Commissioner, P. Shankar, inaugurated the seminar which is being attended by 75 chief vigilance officers/vigilance officers of the department and senior functionaries handling purchases and works contracts.

The objective of the seminar is to re-emphasise the importance of integrity and excellence in all departmental units.

D.K. Sankaran, Additional Secretary and Chief Vigilance Officer, DAE, and C. Ganguly, Chairman and Chief Executive, NFC, spoke.

Tomorrow S. Prabhakaran, Member (Finance), Atomic Energy Commission, and P.C. Sharma, Director, Central Bureau of Investigation, will address the concluding session.

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