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India receives Russian uranium

With the supply of 60 metric tonnes of uranium, Tarapur plants will have fuel for next five years and run smoothly.

india Updated: Apr 02, 2006 22:37 IST

India has received first part of the promised supply of 60 metric tonne of Russian enriched uranium fuel for the two units of Tarapur Atomic Power plants, according to top sources at the Department of Atomic Energy.

The first consignment of 20-25 metric tonnes of uranium, which has arrived from Russia at the Nuclear Fuel Complex of DAE, will be delivered to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) at an appropriate time, DAE official said.

The current fuel supply to the units I and II of the US built reactors (in 1960s) would last for eight months in one unit and for 18 months at the other.

"With Russian supply of 60 metric tonnes of uranium, the plants will have fuel for next five years and run smoothly," Executive Director, Corporate Planning, NPCIL, S Thakur said.

NPCIL had recently renovated and modernised 35-year-old TAPS Unit I and II which could run for next five years "smoothly", he said.

TAPS I and II, which were shut down in October last year, were reconnected to the Western Grid on February 16 after undergoing renovation, modernisation and safety upgradation.

Both the renovated units got the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board's licence to operate for five years from February 16, 2006 and therefore, the supply by Russia is timely.

TAPS I and II are boiling water reactors and need low enriched uranium as fuel.

Last month the Russian Prime Minister during his visit to New Delhi accounced his country's decision to supply 60 metric tonnes to TAPS to enable it to function with "safety".