NATIONAL

Unrealistic terms for supply of n-technology criticised

TIRUNELVELI MARCH 30. Criticising the "Nuclear Supply Group (NSG)" countries for setting unrealistic terms for supplying nuclear technology or components to the developing nations, the chairman and managing director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), Vijay Kumar Chaturvedi, hoped that the hurdles in the way of the third and fourth units of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) would be sorted out through negotiations with the Russian political leadership.

"We are doing some important work in our nuclear installations and we cannot disclose all the information demanded by the NSGs. We can go in for 700 MWe units with indigenous technology if the political leadership wants us to do so," he told newsmen at Koodankulam last night in connection with the first anniversary of the "first pour of concrete" for the reactor building of KKNPP's first unit.

Lauding the efforts of the NPCIL engineers, who had successfully replaced the coolant systems in some of the reactors, Mr. Chaturvedi said it took his subordinates just 18 months to finish the task while the Canadians, who charged $350 million for the assignment, had taken two-and-a-half years. "In future we would complete this highly delicate exercise in six months," he said.

Mr. Chaturvedi also said that the NPCIL would go in for 12 more units as the need for cheaper power was ever on the rise. "The NPCIL, by 2022, would be in a position to produce 25,000 MW through its units," he said.

The Project Director of KKNPP, S.K. Agrawal, said the construction work had been expedited to reduce the gestation period by six to eight months and in addition, the construction of both the units were being carried out in phases so that the time taken for synchronisation of the first and second unit could be reduced from 12 months to 6 months.

"Our Russian counterparts have accepted this challenge and all the schedules for manufacturing and delivery have been advanced and it is expected that most of the components will be available within six to eight months ahead of contractually scheduled dates," Mr. Agrawal said.

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