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Home News Power Sector News Karnataka asks Atomic Energy Commission(AEC) for 2000 MW nuclear power plant

Karnataka asks Atomic Energy Commission(AEC) for 2000 MW nuclear power plant

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NuclearThe Karnataka government urged the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to set up a 2,000 MW greenfield nuclear power plant in the state to meet its growing demand for energy. 'I have told AEC chairman Anil Kakodakar to direct the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation Ltd (NPCL) to set up the greenfield atomic power station in Bijapur district in north Karnataka where land and other infrastructure facilities will be made available,' state Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters .

Kakodakar, however, favoured a coastal site for setting up the new nuclear power plant for logistic and operational reasons on the lines of the NPCL-run Kaiga atomic power generation unit near Karwar on the western coast. 'Though an independent site selection committee will evaluate the locations for setting up such plants, a site in the coastal region will be advantageous to all stakeholders. It will be easier for equipment suppliers to transport their heavy equipment on ship and barge-mounted platform,' Kakodkar told the chief minister and top state officials.

The state also prevailed upon Kakodkar to expand the Kaiga plant capacity with two additional units of 700 MW each and offered to provide additional land or new site in the adjoining area.

'As the state lacks natural resources such as coal and gas, we have to rely on nuclear power to meet our growing energy needs. The power-starved state requires an additional 1400 MW from Kaiga facility to make up for the deficit,' Yeddyurappa said.

The Kaiga plant has four atomic units of 220 MW each with a combined installed capacity of 880 MW. Due to lack of uranium supplies, the units were not able to operate to their capacity over the last 10 months.

'With the India-US nuclear deal in place, we will not face supply constraint for nuclear fuels any more. We will be able to tie up with more global firms for steady import of uranium for the Kaiga plant's existing and proposed units.' Kakodakar said.

The chief minister and the AEC chairman did not share details such as execution timeframe, upfront investment and employment potential in the proposed new plant and the expanded units.

The state is keen to locate the greenfield atomic power plant in Bijapur district where the state-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is setting up a 4,000 MW plant so as to economise the cost of evacuation to the state grid.

The NTPC has set up a technical sub-committee for site inspection and prepare a feasibility study for expansion of Kaiga facility.

The state's plea for a greenfield atomic power plant is in line with the central government's target of generating about 20,000 MW through nuclear energy by 2020.

Source- Sify

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