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India to double power from N-plants

Atomic Energy Commission chief Anil Kakodkar said this after the third unit of Tarapur plant attained criticality.

india Updated: May 21, 2006 19:18 IST

The Government has already chalked out plans to double the electricity production from nuclear power plants by 2030 with the possibility of international cooperation, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar saidin Tarapur on Sunday.

"We are trying to realise the target of 20,000 MW and scale it up to 40,000 MW by 2030 with the possibility of international cooperation," Kakodkar said while addressing the mediain Tarapurafter the third unit of Tarapur Atomic Power Plant attained criticality.

"To accelerate the additional capacity in addition to the domestic programme, the government has already defined a profile and the planning commission has also planned a 30-year programme," Kakodkar said.

With the 16th nuclear plant getting critical, which is expected to go commercial in July, and with the proven record on management, technology expertise and safety, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India is all set for the international cooperation and "we are already negotiating with the counterparts in France, Russia and US," he said.

"We are also equally accelerating our indigenous programmes and the sites are cleared by the government for four 700 MW nuclear power plants (two each) at Kakrapar in Gujarat and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan," the chairman said.

"We are also going ahead with all pre-project work at sites in Jaitapur and Kudankulam for getting four 1000 MW light water reactors," he said.

When asked about the private participation in the nuclear energy programme, Kakodkar said with the existing framework, only Central government can have the equity of 51 per cent.

With the changes in amendment of Atomic Energy Act, "we can do better and lots of scope for all actors to take part," he said.

"However, there will be a strict control over the nuclear material by Department of Atomic Energy," he said explaining that the acqusition, merger and joint venture do not work the same way in nuclear plants as in the case of private sector.

Answering the queries on the changes demanded by the US in the Indo-US nuclear agreement, Kakodkar said, India was clear and will stick to its July 2005 statement.

Asked whether TAPP 3 and 4 units will be under civilian classification when the Indo-US deal comes through, Kakodkar said, "these two units will not be under civilian in the separation plan."

Regarding the two nuclear research reactors in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Cirus and Apsara, he said, "the details are already in the public domain and we will be making use of the facilities upto 2010."

When asked about making use of spent fuel of Tarapur Units 1 and 2 which are under IAEA safeguards, Kakodkar said "when we decide to reprocess those spent fuel which are stored for the last three decades, we will begin to reprocess. So far we have not thought about it."

First Published: May 21, 2006 17:21 IST