'Country's nuclear plants are facing fuel shortage'
Demand and supply for uranium will continue to be affected for some more years though efforts are on to get additional supplies, Chairman Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary Department of Atomic Energy, Anil Kakodkar on Saturday said.
Kakodkar, who was in the city to participate in the Nuclear Fuel Complex Day celebration in Hyderabad on Saturday, said that currently the nuclear power plants in the country were working at half their capacity nearly of 4,000 MW due to the fuel shortage.
India was facing the short supply of uranium due to the slow process in opening up of new uranium mines, he said, adding that Uranium Corporation of India will soon be constructing a mine and a mill at Tummalapalli village in Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh with a capacity of 1,50,000 tonnes per annum.
Likewise, mining and milling was being looked at in the states of Rajasthan Karnataka and Meghalaya, he said.
Kakodkar said that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India is currently working on four 700 mega watts nuclear power plants to augment the capacity and once the fuel linkages are finalised then the construction would begin.
He said that it would take about five years to reach the installed capacity. Kakodkar said that the first prototype fast breeder reactors will start working in 2010-2011.
In addition to these, four more fast breeder reactors are being considered to reach a target of 20,000 MWs.
On a question about nuclear deal with the US vis-a-vis the change in leadership, Kakodkar was tight-lipped and said that India was taking up three-stage nuclear programme for adding to the capacity and these are independent of the deal.