NPCIL, Areva in talks to upgrade safety at existing plants

Siddhartha P. Saikia New Delhi | Updated on October 24, 2012 Published on October 24, 2012

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is in talks with Areva India Pvt Ltd to install equipment at the existing nuclear power plants to improve safety standards.

After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan last year, nuclear reactor operators worldwide are taking steps to upgrade safety standards in their plants.

S. A. Bhardwaj, Director (Technical), NPCIL, said the company is looking at the option of installing hydrogen re-combiner at its existing locations.

“The ones we have run on electricity. The equipment showcased by them (Areva) does not need electricity,” Bhardwaj told Business Line.

Areva is in talks with NPCIL to supply equipment for two units of 1,650 MW each for Jaitapur nuclear plant in Maharastra.

“Preparations are on to sign definitive contracts,” said Arthur de Montalembert, Chairman and Managing Director, Areva India.

Hydrogen re-combiner

Montalembert cited the example of ‘hydrogen re-combiner’ that his company supplies.

“It is to improve the accident management of the reactor. Hydrogen re-combiner is very useful in case of accidents, as it helps to avoid hydrogen accumulation and prevent explosion,” Montalembert said.

The re-combiner is used to combine hydrogen with oxygen to form water vapour. It helps prevent accumulation of hydrogen inside a reactor that can lead to explosion.

When asked about the cost of installing the hydrogen re-combiner, Bhardwaj said NPCIL would float a tender for buying the equipment. “Once the tender is launched, we would know the actual cost,” he said.

At present, 20 nuclear reactors in India generate about 4,780 MW power. This constitutes nearly 2.9 per cent of the total installed base.

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Published on October 24, 2012
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