India`s 18th N-plant begins commercial operations

Last Updated: Saturday, February 6, 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.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 6, 2010 - 20:35

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