NPCIL to set up coastal nuke parks in phases

| | Updated on: May 06, 2011
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Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) will follow a phased approach while scaling up capacity at the multi-unit nuclear parks planned at six locations along India's coastline.

As a measure of abundant caution, there will be at least a two-year breather between the commissioning of the first set of twin imported reactor units at a site and initiating work on the next set of units at the same location.

“We have a two-year gap between commissioning (of first set of two units) and the construction of the next set (of units). This should offer enough time to detect and address any operational issues or concerns,” the NPCIL Chairman and Managing Director, Mr S.K. Jain, told Business Line .

He said there were no plans to scale down the size of these proposed nuclear parks in the light of the Japanese atomic disaster.

Japan incident

In the wake of the Fukushima incident, experts have expressed concern at the country's plans to set up a slew of imported Light Water Reactor units at a single site, resulting in an installed capacity of 8,000-10,000 MWe (mega watt electrical) of installed nuclear capacity in just one location.

Besides, there are worries that the reactor technology used for these units is going to be vastly different from the country's mainstay pressurised heavy water reactor design, which could pose a challenge for NPCIL in terms of simultaneously grappling with four completely new reactor technologies.

N-Park sites

According to plans, sites earmarked for nuclear parks include Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Pati Sonapur in Orissa, Haripur in West Bengal, Mithirvirdi in Gujarat, and Kowadi in Andhra Pradesh, apart from Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu. Six to eight reactors, of 1,000-1,650 MW are proposed to be installed at each nuclear park.

Negotiations on

Negotiations are on with four global suppliers — GE-Hitachi for its ‘ESBWR' reactor series, Toshiba-Westinghouse for its ‘AP1000' reactors, Areva for its ‘EPR' reactors and Atomstroyexport for the ‘VVER' reactor series. State-owned NPCIL — the monopoly nuclear power generator — has tentatively short-listed these four major reactor manufacturers based on “suitability” of technical parameters for placement of orders that will form the first phase of the Centre's plan to build 40,000 MW of nuclear capacity by 2020.

As a general rule, orders are placed for two reactors at a time for each selected location and reactor type, as was done for Koodankulam, where the Russians are already in advanced stages of commissioning two 1,000 MWe units.

Published on March 12, 2018

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