State-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), is planning to establish ‘nuclear parks’ and four to five sites have been identified, mainly in the coastal areas of the country, including Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
A cluster of 1,000 MW nuclear power plants would be located in the proposed parks, said NPCIL Chairman and Managing Director S. K. Jain. on the sidelines of a function where grid plate manufactured by MTAR Technologies for Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) was handed over to Atomic Energy Chairman, Anil Kakodkar.
At least four to five such sites that include Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu and Ratnagiri in Maharashtra have been identified to set up these 1,000 MW units, said Jain.
The power produced from these nuclear plants should be competitive to thermal power in the region. About 10 large reactors of the Light Water Reactor (LWR) are also planned with participation of global players, he said.
Discussions are on with energy majors such as GE, Westinghouse of the US; Areva of France and Russian majors. “But, our condition for participation would be an assurance of life-time guarantee of fuel supply to the reactors,” Jain said.
While the sourcing for the reactor would be from global vendors, efforts are on to ensure that indigenization in the future nuclear power plants would be up to 80 percent, so that Indian industry has a major role, the NPC chief said.
Under an accelerated expansion programme during the current Eleventh Plan, NPC has got the mandate to implement eight units of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) of 700 MW rating. He said efforts would be made to ensure that power produced by these plants was comparable to the price of thermal power.
Referring to NPCIL’s expansion plans, he said at present 17 reactors were operating and six more would be set up by 2012.
Admitting that nuclear plants were operating at 50 per cent PLF due to shortage of uranium, he said the situation was expected to improve with the commissioning of an additional mine at Jaduguda. Besides, talks were on with global vendors for augmenting uranium supply.