NPCIL rethinking Jaitapur N-project

10,000mw plant hit speed breaker after Fukushima disaster

State-run Nuclear Pow-er Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) on Wed-nesday said it would review its decision to set up 10,000 mega watt nuclear plant in Jaitapur.

NPCIL and its France partner Areva hit a speed breaker on the project after Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and continued protests from local people.

“We are hopeful that Areva experts will submit the report on Jaitapur in December 2011 and so talks will begin in January 2012,” NPCIL director (technical) SA Bhardwaj told reporters at an industry event held by India Energy Forum (IEF).“We will discuss technical and commercial aspects of the project,” added Bhardwaj. France is re-looking at all the nuclear power joint venture its companies are engaged in.

On February 4, 2009, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between NPCIL and Areva for engaging both the sides into discussions for supply of first twin sets of EPR units at Jaitapur.

Currently, NPCIL operates 4,780mw of nuclear power plants. It is setting up additional capacity of 5,300 mw, Bhardwaj said. Out of this, 2,00mw Kudankulam nuclear power project is nearing completion and the rest will be commissioned by 2016.

India has set an aggressive nuclear programme target to commission 20 gigawatts (gw) capacity by 2020 and 63gw by 2032. This is aimed at making India nuclear power hub for both domestic and international players. Few state-run companies such as IOC, NTPC and Nalco have inked joint venture partnerships with NPCIL to invest in nuclear power generation.

IOC has shown interest for Kota and Kudankulam projects whereas Nalco is interested in Kakrapar atomic power project. NTPC wants to invest in Haryana project, Bhardwaj added. NPCIL is also in talks with ONGC for investing in nuclear power projects.

Currently, NPCIL has fuel demand of 450 tonnes of uranium every year to run its power stations in six different states. The state-run enterprise has long term contracts to source uranium from Russia (2,000 tonnes), Kazakhstan (2,100 tonnes) and other mines operated by Areva (300 tonnes).

As our demand increases with commissioning of new plants, we would renew our fuel supply contracts and also tie up from new sources, Bhardwaj added.

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