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NPCIL to localise 45 percent components for Kudankulam

Tamil Nadu,Business/Economy,Science/Tech, Tue, 27 Mar 2012 IANS

Chennai, March 27 (IANS) India's atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) is planning to localise 45 percent of the components for the third and fourth units planned at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district, said a senior official Tuesday.


"We have completed the technical and commercial offer. The issue is how much to localise. We look at a localisation levels of 45 percent," NPCIL's Director (Technical) S.A. Bhardwaj told reporters here.


NPCIL is currently setting up two 1,000 MW reactors supplied by Russia at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli, around 650 km from here.


The two units are fully imported from Russia including the nuts and bolts which also contributed to the delay in commissioning of the project, apart from the people's protest against the plant on safety grounds for the past six months.


Speaking about the next two units, Bhardwaj said: "We have divided the total unit into two - nuclear equipment and the balance of plant (BOP).


"The core equipments for the nuclear side will be imported from Russia while the BOP portion - like electrical systems sea water pumps and others - to be sourced from Indian suppliers."


Meanwhile, speaking about the progress at the first two units of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) that came to a grinding halt last year due to the protests by the villagers, he said: "We are very much inside the plant. Our contractors are now returning though it would take some more time. Meanwhile, we are shifting people from our other stations to Kudakulam."


He said all the systems in the first unit of KNPP were working fine and there are no damages though the unit was not operational for the past six months due to mass protests.


He said the first unit will be commissioned after the conduct of safety drill as stipulated by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).


"NPCIL will give a manual of safety drill to the state government/district administration. It is for the state government to be fully conversant with the safety drill and emergency evacuation procedures. We will take care of the steps that would be needed to be taken inside the plant in case of an emergency," Bhardwaj remarked.


Agreeing that it will be difficult to convince the people about the plant's safety, Bhardwaj said it was not an impossible task and depended on the communication skills of the people involved.


Queried about NPCIL procuring reactors from South Korea, he said: "India and South Korea has signed an inter-governmental agreement on the subject last year.


"We are in the status of defining our specifications which South Korea has to comply with. South Korea has 1,400 MW reactor and they have to change some designs as per our requirements."


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