India`s 18th N-plant begins commercial operations
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Last Updated: Saturday, February 06, 2010, 20:35
Mumbai: India's 18th nuclear power plant at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan has begun commercial operations, the Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) announced on Saturday.

The indigenously built 220 MW unit of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) is using fuel imported from Russia which was acquired after India got a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group guidelines in September 2008.

Of the 2,000 tonnes of fuel procured from Russia, about 120 tonnes has been earmarked for RAPS-5.

RAPS-5 was synchronised to the Northern Grid on December 22 last year and began commercial operation from February 4, 2010, a NPCIL release said.

The operationalisation of RAPS-5 increases the installed nuclear power capacity at the NPCIL's Rawatbhata site to 960 MW.

The project, set up in September 2002, took six years to complete. It remained idle for some months because of lack of fuel.

With the commissioning of this unit, number of nuclear power reactors in commercial operation in the country has increased to 18 with a total installed capacity 4,340 MW.

The tariff of the power supplied from this unit also will be comparable with other 17 operating units of NPCIL -- below Rs three, a company official said.

Electricity generated by RAPS-5 will be shared by the states in Northern Electricity Region. The unit is fuelled with imported uranium.

Unit-6 of RAPS, also a 220 MW reactor, had achieved first criticality (controlled nuclear chain reaction) on January 23 and is currently going through statutory tests in preparation for the first synchronisation and commencement of commercial operation by the end of this month.

The total nuclear power capacity is expected to increase to 7,280 MW by 2012 with the completion of projects under construction in Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.


First Published: Saturday, February 06, 2010, 20:35

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