Govt puts Koodankulam 3-4, Jaitapur n-units on fast-track


With the impasse over the first two units of the Koodankulam nuclear project behind it, the Centre has set the ball rolling on the next couple of twin imported light water reactor-based units that are to be taken up for implementation in the country.

First off the block would be the third and fourth units of the Koodankulam project, slated to come up right next to the two 1,000 MWe (mega watt electrical) Russian 'VVER 1000' units that are close to commissioning at the site in coastal Tamil Nadu. The twin 1,650 MWe units of Areva's 'EPR'-based project in Jaitapur in coastal Maharashtra, where progress has been held up on account of additional compensation sought by a section of the local population, would be next in line.

"For Koodankulam 3 and 4, the text of the Protocol for extending Russian State credit for implementation of the two units has already been approved by the government. The proposal for financial sanction of the twin Russian 'VVER' units is currently under consideration," a government official involved in the exercise said.

In case of the Jaitapur project, the detailed project proposals, including costs and business models envisaging the share of work between the Indian side and the French side to arrive at an optimal cost, are under finalisation. "The business models are planned to be devised so as to maximise the indigenous content, scope of work and responsibilities to reduce the costs. The tariff of electricity from the EPRs planned at Jaitapur is expected to be comparable to those of contemporary indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors," the official said.

At Jaitapur, on the compensation issue, a committee chaired by the District Collector had been constituted by the Maharashtra Government to arrive at additional compensation for the land acquired. The committee has since submitted its report to the state government. "The additional compensation will be paid by NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation) based on final decision of the Maharashtra government in this regard," an official said.

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