India is setting up a second nuclear fuel complex (NFC) to reprocess atomic fuel in view of growing number of atomic reactors in the country. The NFC will come up next to Rawabhata nuclear plant in Kota, Rajasthan, at a cost of Rs.2,400 crore. The proposal was cleared by cabinet committee on security earlier this month.
Sources in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said the new arrangement has been made keeping in mind the fuel supply required to meet the demand, which will soon come up in the country.
Under the 12th Five-Year Plan, India aims to take power generation capacity from nuclear energy to more than 17,300 MW. India currently generates over 5500 MW of electricity from nuclear power.
The existing NFC in Hyderabad does not have the capacity to meet the growing demands of fuel of future reactors which will come up in the country by next decade.
"The new NFC in Kota will cater to atomic plants in north India. There are nuclear plants coming in Gorakhpur in Haryana, Jaitapur in Maharashtra and Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat in coming years which will require fuel," the official said.
Not only that, the existing nuclear plants capacity is also being augmented by adding new reactors. For instance, a 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is in its final stages. In Kakrpara, two more reactors (unit 3 and 4) are being constructed with capacity of 700 MW each, two more in Rawabhata (unit 7 and 8) with 700 MW of capacity each. In this case, there will a rise in demand for fuel.