India's 25th nuclear plant's construction starts on Jul 18

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Rawatbhata (Rajasthan), Jul 17: The construction procedure of India's 25th nuclear power plant will start from Monday, Jul 18 with the first pour of concrete for the 700 MW indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) at Rawatbhata. The government had given a financial sanction of Rs. 24,000 crores in October 2009 for building four units of 700 MW of PHWRs - two each at Kakrapar and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan.

This will be the seventh nuclear plant at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), which already has an installed capacity of 1,180 MW from six units - the largest from a single site.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has designed the 700-MW PHWR by scaling up its 540 MW PHWRs under operation at Tarapur since 2005. The NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW VVER type nuclear power plants at Kudankulam (TamilNadu)and two 700 MW PHWRs at Kakrapar in Gujarat. Unit 1 and 2 at Kudankulam are expected to be operational by August, 2010 and May, 2011 respectively.

The NPCIL currently operates 20 nuclear power plants across six sites and has an installed capacity of 4,780 MW. The excavation work for the Unit 7 at RAPS started on August 19 last year and the NPCIL hopes to start commercial operations by June 2016. The first pour of concrete for Unit 8 at the station is expected later this year.

Both the 700 MW units at Kakrapar are expected to start producing power by 2015 end. With the progressive completion of the Kudankulam reactors and the four 700 MW PHWRs at Kakrapar and Rawatbhata, the installed nuclear power capacity of NPCIL is expected to reach 9,580 MW by 2016.

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