India starts 25th Nuclear Plant work in Rajasthan

India Monday started construction work on two 700 MW indigenous nuclear power reactors that are estimated to cost Rs.12,000 crore. The reactors are scheduled to be operational by 2016. “The target is five years, but we are hopeful to complete it before the scheduled time,” Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said here after the formal construction work began on seventh and eighth units of the Rawatbhata Atomic Power Project nearly 250-km from the state capital Jaipur. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) currently has six units at Rawatbhata, of which five are operational. One unit has been decommissioned because of obsolete technology. Banerjee, who is also the secretary of the Atomic Energy Department, said 50 percent of the power production from the new project, based on the indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor technology, would be earmarked for Rajasthan. The remaining power will be supplied to the Northern Electricity Grid.
NPCIL currently runs 20 nuclear power reactors in different locations of the country with an installed capacity of 4,780 MW. “Seven new reactors are under construction. It will increase the production capacity by 5,300 MW,” said Shreyans Kumar Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of NPCIL. On completion of the seven units that are under construction, the total installed capacity of nuclear power generation in India will be 10,080 MW. Jain said NPCIL is targetting 14 units of 700 MW capacity each, taking the total installed capacity to 20,000 MW by 2020. On safety measures, Jain said NPCIL has introduced extra security features in the projects taking lessons from the crisis in Japan after the March earthquake and tsunami.