Unit-I of Kudankulam in advanced stage of commissioning

India proposes to acquire uranium mines abroad.

This would help to ensure continuous undisrupted supply of nuclear fuel to reactors in the country, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

A joint venture between public sector companies Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) would explore the possibility of acquiring uranium assets abroad. This joint venture would be under The Department of Atomic Energy.

At the same time, Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) is engaged in identifying uranium resources in the country required for the nuclear power programme, through multi-disciplinary survey and exploration, Narayanasamy said.

Currently, the areas under survey and exploration include Tummalapelle-Rachakuntapalle, Koppunuru and Chitrial in Andhra Pradesh; Rohil in Rajasthan; Wahkut and Umthongkut in Meghalaya; Gogi in Karnataka; Singridungri-Banadungri, and Seraikela-Kharaswan in Jharkhand.

Responding to another question, Narayanasamy, said that the first unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is at an advanced stage of commissioning.

“The cost of units I and II of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is estimated to go up from Rs 13,171 crore to Rs 17,270 crore because of delay in commissioning of the plant,” he added.

The Minister also mentioned that India can develop the world’s cheapest nuclear reactors. The country can make a reactor costing $1,700 per unit for a 700-MW reactor compared with an average of $2,500-$3,000 worldwide.

“The quality of Indian nuclear power reactors is comparable to those in other countries of the world including South Korea,” he added.

siddhartha.s

@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 23, 2012)
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