Kolkata: The Indian Railways, preparing for captive power plants to meet its energy requirements, is now eyeing nuclear energy.
"Indian Railways has expressed interest for captive nuclear power of 1000 MW (500 MW x 2). The Railways want to examine the possibilities. We are looking into it," Department of Atomic Energy`s secretary Srikumar Banerjee told a news agency here.
The two proposed units would not impact the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL)`s plan for ten nuclear plants of which four plants have received approval.
According to the current cost, the two small 500 MW nuclear power plants, for which the Railways has adequate land, would cost around Rs 10,000 crore.
NPCIL, which would be the executing agency, might use indigenous high pressure water technology reactor, regarded as cost effective.
"Our 500/700 MW nuclear power plants are more cost effective than imported technology," Banerjee said.
If the plans fructify, the arrangement might be on the lines of the Indian Railways-NTPC joint venture `Bhartiya Rail Bijlee Company` to set up a captive power plant at
Nabinagar in Bihar`s Aurangabad district.
The plant would have a capacity of 1000 MW.
The Indian Railways are also planning to set up another power plant of 1,320 MW at Adra in West Bengal`s Purulia district to avail traction supply at economical rates.
Out of the four units of the 250 MW at Nabinagar power plant, the first unit was likely to be commissioned by March 2012 and the other three after every three months thereafter.