India’s nuclear regulator has granted permission for commencing the excavation for building two 700 MW atomic power plants at Kaiga Generating Station in Karwar.
The consent for excavation for building Units 5 and 6 at Kaiga marks the beginning of a new generation of indigenously developed 700 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRS), which have emerged as the mainstay of India’s nuclear power programme.
The consent for site excavation of Kaiga Unit 5 and 6 was granted by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on March 31.
The AERB had granted siting consent for the two nuclear power plants in November 2020.
HC quashes defamation case against media house; says publisher not expected to check truthfulness of FIR for news
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), which is building the two plants, has completed bifurcation fencing separating units 5 and 6 from the existing four units of 220 MW each. Vehicle radiation monitoring system and access control systems were operational at the site, the NPCIL informed the nuclear regulator.
The government had told Parliament last month that the construction of the two 700 MW PHWRs was likely to start next year with the ‘first pour of concrete’, kickstarting the ‘fleet mode’ development of nuclear power plants.
The Union Cabinet had approved construction of 10 nuclear power plants of 700 MW each in fleet mode at a cost of Rs 1.05 lakh crore in June 2017 with an aim to reduce cost and speed up construction time.
After Kaiga, the first pour of concrete is expected to take place for units 3 and 4 at the Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana in 2024. Construction is also expected to begin on four 700 MW units at Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan in 2024, followed by the first pour of concrete for Units 1 and 2 of the Chutka Madhya Pradesh Atomic Power Project in 2025.
Bulk procurement was underway for the fleet mode projects with purchase orders placed for forgings for steam generators, SS 304L lattice tubes and plates for end shields, pressuriser forgings, bleed condensers forgings, incoloy-800 tubes for 40 steam generators, reactor headers, DAE officials said.
Engineering, procurement and construction package for turbine island has been awarded for Gorakhpur units 3 and 4 and Kaiga units 5 and 6, they added.
Under the fleet mode, a nuclear power plant is expected to be built over a period of five years from the first pour of concrete.
Currently, India operates 22 reactors with a total capacity of 6780 MW in operation. One 700 MW reactor at Kakrapar in Gujarat was connected to the grid on January 10 last year, but it is yet to start commercial operations.