Completing the construction of the two 700 MW nuclear power plants in Gujarat and Rajasthan, speeding up of other atomic power projects will be the focus in 2022, said a top official of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
He also said the construction of two 700 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) at Kaiga in Karnataka is also planned this year.
‘In the year 2022, work on KAPP-4 (Kakrapar Atomic Power Project 700 MW), RAPP-7&8 (Rajasthan Atomic Power Project 2X700 MW), KKNPP-3,4,5 & 6 (Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project 4X1000 MW) and GHAVP 1&2 (Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana-2X700 MW) projects under construction will be speeded up,’ K.N.Vyas, Secretary, DAE and Chairman, AEC, told IANS.
‘All efforts will be made to complete construction of KAPP-4 and RAPP-7 during the year 2022. In addition to this, start of construction of Kaiga 5&6 (2X700 MW) is also planned for the year 2022,’ he added.
According to him, different units at Kakrapar and Rajasthan are under various stages of completion.
‘In RAPP-7, testing and commissioning of systems and equipment are under progress. An important milestone of Primary Heat Transport System Hydrotest has been achieved. In RAPP-8, civil construction and erection of equipment and components are in progress,’ Vyas said.
Queried about the commercial power generation by the Unit-3 at Kakrapar, which was connected to the western power grid in 2021 he said: ‘KAPP-3 is the first of its kind reactor in the country. The data collected by NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd) is under review by AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board). Next step will be taken as per guidelines prescribed by AERB.’
The unit generated about 402 million units (MU) of infirm power last year, Vyas added.
These apart, the government had recently told Parliament that the 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) being built by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) is expected to be completed in October 2022.
The PFBR project is under integrated commissioning stage, the government had said.
Two more fast breeder reactors (FBR) are being planned at Kalpakkam and the Government has allocated Rs 250 crore for pre-project activities.
On the plans for augmenting domestic uranium supply for the upcoming nuclear power reactors Vyas said the AEC has accorded in-principle approval for 13 new projects, both green field and brown field, in different parts of the country for catering to the fuel requirement of upcoming reactors.
Continuing further he said DAE’s Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) has been consistently increasing its production by process modification and optimisation, by introducing automation and to some extent by augmentation of its facilities.
‘NFC has indigenously developed Plasma melting furnace, an import substitute under Make in India initiative saving crores of rupees for the nation,’ Vyas said.
Looking back at the year 2021 that went by, Vyas said the various nuclear power stations have generated 43,918 MU of electricity.
Apart from the synchronisation of KAPP-3 with the western grid, the other major achievement last year for India’s atomic power sector was the start of construction of KKNPP 5&6 (2X1000 MW) at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu.