Tarapur Unit 3 N-reactor goes critical | india | Hindustan Times
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Tarapur Unit 3 N-reactor goes critical

The major achievement of criticality in India's nuclear power reactor sector comes two months ahead of schedule.

india Updated: May 21, 2006 12:31 IST

The country took a giant leap forward in nuclear power generation when its 16th nuclear power plant and second 540 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR), Tarapur Atomic Power Plant (TAPP-3), went critical on Sunday.

"This is one step before connecting power to the western grid and the electricity produced from this plant would be synchronized to the grid in June," the Chairman and Managing Director of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) SK Jain said while announcing the criticality.

The commercial production will start in July. Once it is done, the country's total installed capacity of nuclear energy will go up to 3,890 MW from the existing 3,350 MW of electricity, Jain said.

The fourth unit of Tarapur Atomic Power Plant (TAPP-4), commissioned ahead of TAPP-3, went critical last March and was synchronized to the grid in June 2005. It started commercial production in September, 2005.

The two units were built at a cost of Rs 6,100 crore although it had an approval cost of Rs 6525 crore, Jain said.

"So NPCIL would be able to sell the electricity generated from the two units to the states connected to western grid at about Rs 2.65," Jain said.

While the power-starved Maharashtra will receive the major share of electricity, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Daman and Diu will also receive power from TAPS-3 and 4. The Centre will also allot power to deficit States, Jain said.

The NPCIL will built four PHWR each of 700 MW to be set up two at Kakrapar in Gujarat and the other two at Rawatbhata in Rajashtan, he said.

Construction activities at TAPP-3 and 4 were completed in record time -- shortest ever achieved in India and also a global benchmark, Jain said.

The designs of TAPP-3 and 4, incorporating latest safety features in line with the prevailing international codes and practices, "is also a fore-runner to India's 700 MWe PHWR design to be set-up in near future," Jain added.