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Bihar gets nuclear teeth

Bihar gets nuclear teeth

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 02:51 IST

Bihar might have a nuclear power plant in its bid to become self-reliant in power. The department of Atomic Energy has agreed to send a team of experts for preliminary investigation and site selection for setting up a nuclear power plant here.

Responding to the recent letter of the chairman, Bihar State Electricity Board, to the chairman-cum-managing director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, the department of Atomic Energy has intimated the BSEB that it would soon send its team for site selection.

The letter by the central government agency, however, does not mention the specific date when the team will come here, said a senior officer of the state power board.

The BSEB had asked Centre to set up a 2000-mw nuclear power plant in Rajauli (Nawada district). Since nuclear energy is a central subject, it is solely the prerogative of the Atomic Energy Department to assess the potential and technical feasibility of setting up a nuclear plant.

If it decides to give the green signal, all that the state government has to do is provide a vast expanse of barren land and source for water supply. “The money for acquiring land also forms part of the project cost, which is normally borne fully by the Centre,” the officer added. The project was mooted by President APJ Abdul Kalam, when he said in his joint address to the legislature that the state should think in terms of having a 1,000 MW nuclear power plant. RJD chief and railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav added weight to it by pitching in.

Recently, chief minster Nitish Kumar also joined the issue when he moved the Prime Minister and then the power minister. Nitish had also directed the BSEB to write to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd in this matter.

To acheive sufficieny in power, the Uranium Corporation of India Limited is contemplating to increase domestic production of nuclear fuel to meet the increasing demand for power. It has lined up a series of new projects in Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh (AP), Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. Most of these projects will begin production by the end of the 10th five-year-plan.