Rawatbhata (Raj): Sending a strong signal
on continuance of its nuclear programme despite the Fukushima
accident, India today began construction of its 25th atomic
power plant and announced to build four more indigenous 700 MW
units than planned earlier.
The first pour of concrete for the 700 MW indigenous
Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR), the seventh nuclear
plant at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), took place
in this bustling Rajasthan township about 65 km from Kota.
The ceremony, which signals the beginning of the
construction of a nuclear plant, was attended by Atomic Energy
Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee and Nuclear Power
Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) CMD Shreyans Kumar Jain.
The 25th plant coincides with the silver jubilee of
NPCIL next year.
The construction of this plant was scheduled to start
in March but was put off pending safety review in the wake of
the Fukushima nuclear accident, said S A Bhardwaj, Director
"We had to revisit the safety measures and have a
relook at the design in the wake of the Fukushima accident" he
Bhardwaj said after the review, some additional
safety features were incorporated and the 700 MW plant now can
withstand a scenario of a breach in the Gandhisagar dam
situated at a height near Rawatbhata and simultaneous July 26
like rainfall in the region.
"The passive safety measures in the plant take care
of a scenario in which all the plant operators are
incapacitated," he said.