Nuclear Power Generation In India Increased By 23% In 2012: AEC Chairman
By Srinivas Laxman | Top News
October 1, 2012
Nuclear power generation in India increased by 23 percent over the previous year, said the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, R. K. Sinha.
AsianScientist (Oct. 1, 2012) Nuclear power generation in India increased by 23 percent over the previous year, and the average annual availability of reactors went up from 83 to 91 percent, said the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), R. K. Sinha.
Addressing the IAEA’s 56th annual general conference at Vienna on Wednesday, he said that the production of fuel from pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR) has shot up by 15 percent.
He said told the conference that India has enhanced its activities relating to uranium exploration.
“As a result of this we have been able to identify new resources of uranium and in the last five years the reserves have registered a steep increase of about 70 percent,” he stated.
This statement is important in the context of the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal which was firmed up mainly to address India’s shortage of uranium.
The Indian nuclear chief said that the construction of four indigenously-designed 700 megawatt PHWRs – two each at Kakrapar in Gujarat and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan – will be completed by 2017.
He sounded a note of optimism by declaring that the operation of the first unit of the Russian-aided 1,000 MW Kudankulam atomic power reactor in Tamil Nadu is “expected to commence shortly.”
It may be recalled that India’s highest seat of judiciary, the Supreme Court, declared last week that while fuel loading operations of the plant cannot be stopped, the various safety issues raised by the local population will be studied by the court.
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) during a media interaction last week clarified that, contrary to reports in the print and electronic media, the fuel loading exercise had not yet been initiated. It said that it will begin only after certain reviews were completed.
It was the first time the board was reaching out to the public through the media, especially to those residing around Kudankulam. The primary aim of last week’s interaction was to allay apprehensions of anti-nuclear activists and the local population that the plant was unsafe and could pose a threat to the local population.
At the Vienna meeting, Sinha also expressed satisfaction that the global response to the Fukushima accident, by and large, has been very mature.
“While committing to learn complete lessons from the accident to enhance safety, the growth prospect of nuclear generation continues to be driven by the concerns of energy security to meet long term developmental needs,” he told the IAEA conference.
Post-Fukushima, he said for the first time IAEA’s Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) will visit India towards the end of October to undertake a safety review of the third and fourth units of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station.
He also announced that India will soon approach the IAEA to carry out a peer review of the country’s nuclear regulatory system.
India on Tuesday firmed up an arrangement with the IAEA concerning its voluntary contribution to the nuclear security fund. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had previously announced at the Seoul nuclear security summit on March 27, 2012 that India would contribute US$1 million to the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Fund, 2012-2013.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: IAEA Imagebank/Flickr/CC.
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