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Govt approved construction of 12 nuclear power reactors in last 4 years

The government has also amended the Atomic Energy Act to enable joint ventures of public sector companies to set up nuclear power projects
New Delhi: In the last three years and the current year, the government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of a total of 12 nuclear power reactors — 10 indigenous 700 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) to be set up in fleet mode and two units of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) to be set up in cooperation with Russian Federation to enhance nuclear power capacity in the country.

Public-private JVs to set up nuclear power projects?

In a written response submitted in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Atomic Energy Dr Jitendra Singh said that as of now, two public sector companies of the Department of Atomic Energy, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) are involved in nuclear power generation. “The government has also amended the Atomic Energy Act to enable joint ventures of public sector companies to set up nuclear power projects,” he added.

‘No plan to open the sector to private players’

However, the minister said that there is no proposal under consideration at present to permit private sector in the area of nuclear power generation. “Private sector participates in the nuclear power sector by providing core reactor components, equipment, materials and services in areas that include construction, fabrication and erection of equipment, piping, electrical, instrumentation, consultancy, auxiliary and logistical services,” said Dr Singh.

Two additional nuclear reactors at Kudankulam

Additionally, a General Framework Agreement (GFA) for setting up two additional units of 1000 MW each at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu (Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, KKNPP-5&6 - 2X1000 MW) was signed by NPCIL with Atomstroyexport (ASE) of Russian Federation in June 2017, informed Singh. “Following the signing of the GFA, excavation for main plant buildings and off-shore structures is in progress. The work on the contracts for first priority design works, first priority equipment, long manufacturing cycle equipment, working documentation etc. is in progress,” the minister added.