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TAPP-3 to be dedicated to the nation next week

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Jul 7 (UNI) The 540 MW third unit of the Tarapur Atomic Power Project (TAPP) is all set to start commercial production next week, six months ahead of schedule, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) sources told UNI here today.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has already authorised synchronisation of the unit with the western power grid, accomplished on June 15 last.

Presently TAPP-3 is conducting mandatory tests by supplying electricity to the grid, termed as''infirm power''. The power of the unit will subsequently be increased to 'full level' based on test results and authorisation by the AERB, the sources said.

Once the station is declared commercial, it will produce and supply power in a consistent manner to the western grid. The Unit-3 had achieved its criticality on May 21 last.

The 540 MW TAPP-4, set up before TAPP-3, had started commercial production from September 12 last.

The two units of TAPP-3&4, of 540 MW each, are India's largest and most advanced nuclear power units. TAPP-3&4 are fully indigenous and have been designed and constructed by the NPCIL, a public sector undertaking under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

TAPP-3&4 belong to Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) family, which uses natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as moderator and coolant. The two units of Tarapur have been built and commissioned in the shortest time taken by any PHWR in the country.

The entire Tarapur campus with four nuclear reactors, two units of 160 MW and two units of 540 MW, can provide 1400 MW electricity to the western grid.

As TAPP-1 and TAPP-2 are in civil domain, they are open for international inspection. However TAPP-3 and TAPP-4 are not in civil domain.

Meanwhile, the experience gained from TAPP-3&4 is being utilised for upgrading the unit size to 700 MW. Four such units of 700 MW each, two at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan and two at Kakrapar in Gujarat are proposed to be built.

Presently, NPCIL operates 15 nuclear power units with an aggregate capacity of 3360 MWe. This will increase to 3900 MWe once the 16th unit, TAPP-3, is declared commercial.

The installed nuclear power capacity will increase to 4,120 MWe by end of Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-2007) and 10,280 MWe by Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12). It is planned to achieve an installed nuclear power capacity of 20,000 MWe by year 2020.

Meanwhile, even though the cost of power from TAPP-3 and 4 is Rs 2.65 per unit, the NPCIL is approaching the centre to reduce the cost further down to below Rs 2.5 mark, as both the reactors have been completed at a cost lower than the estimates. Power from TAPP-1 and 2 is being sold at a price of Rs 1 per unit.


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