Work halts at Kudankulam

Work at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu has “halted” because the plant personnel are “unable to go inside” and this situation has arisen “when we need several thousands of people to work inside during the last phase of work” of commissioning of the first reactor there, said Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission.

“We are unable to even enter the place. This is the situation today,” he said in a recent interview with The Hindu in his Mumbai office.

The KKNPP comprises two Russian VVER-1000 reactors, each with a capacity of 1,000 MWe. The first reactor was on course for commissioning in November/December and the second was to be started up in June 2012.

(Several hundreds of people led by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) and belonging to the coastal villages around the KKNPP are on a relay fast at Idinthakarai village from September 11, demanding the project's closure. The KKNPP engineers and other staff are unable to enter the plant from October 13 because of the restrictions placed on them and threats from the villagers. About 3,000 contract-labourers from Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa have left for their home-States after they received threats).

‘Not advisable’
On the core demand of the PMANE leaders that work at the KKNPP should halt first before the 15-member experts' group announced by the Centre could talk to the villagers and allay their fears about the safety of the Kudankulam reactors, Dr. Banerjee said, “Physically, work has been halted. But it is not advisable to do that.” If the agitators meant that “not a single person should enter the Kudankulam plant” when they demanded that work on the project should halt, “we are allowing a major asset of the country to degrade and that is not something acceptable,” he said.

He said the first unit had high temperature systems, flowing coolant and high voltage systems. Dr. Banerjee said: “So it is not a matter of switching off the whole system and bringing it to a standstill. Whenever you have a coolant in a circuit and you make it stagnant, then there is the possibility of some undue corrosion effect on some of the components. Obviously, this is not normally done. You always run the coolant and this process requires the attention of the technicians as well as the supporting people.”

Clearance awaited
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited was waiting for clearance to load the fuel into the reactor and there were expectations that the reactor might reach criticality in October. “So essentially this has been halted…There is no big dispute on this…But you must run the essential facilities for the safety and long-term service of the equipment,” the AEC Chairman said.

India was an impoverished country in terms of power supply. Tamil Nadu even today had a serious power shortage, he said.

“Tamil Nadu is also a State which is aspiring for major industrial growth. This industrial growth will happen only when you have power,” he added. Two thousand MWe was ready for delivery from the two Kudankulam units with Tamil Nadu getting 925 MWe as its share but this agitation was not allowing this to happen.

“Basically, this is a step towards decelerating the economic growth process, the growth of livelihood of people or their quality of life,” said Dr. Banerjee, who is also Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy.

Stir unexpected
The agitation at Idinthakarai was “a little unexpected” because “a cordial relationship existed all along” between the KKNPP employees and the villagers around, he said.

The KKNPP engineers regularly took part in the education and social programmes of the villages around.

“We were actually looking forward to enriching our relationship with the people around” because nuclear power reactors nowadays had a life-span of 40 years to 60 years. “So it is a big surprise for me” that the agitation had broken out, he said.

APJ Abdul Kalam's plan for Kudankulam includes highway, 10k jobs, world-class hospital

NEW DELHI/CHENNAI: Former President APJ Abdul Kalam has come out with a 10-point plan for the development of the area around the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, even while reiterating his satisfaction over the safety net in place at the site to prevent a Fukushima-type tragedy.

The confidence-building measure was aimed at persuading anti-nuclear energy campaigners to give up their opposition to the plant. The action plan includes creation of 10,000 jobs, construction of a fourlane highway connecting Kudankulam with other major towns of Tamil Nadu and a world-class hospital.

The release of the confidence-building road-map coincided with the first meeting of the 15-member expert group set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month to allay fears among the local population.

Kalam, who arrived at Kudankulam on Saturday night as part of the exercise to examine the safety measures incorporated by the project scientists and engineers and convince protestors to allow resumption of work at the KNPP site, again sought to underwrite the safety net.

He asked the people not to have "even a nano-sized doubt" on the protective ring, arguing that it met all the four safety aspects - nuclear criticality, radiation, thermal hydraulic and structural integrity safety. He has suggested construction of a four-lane highway connecting Kudankulam and villages 30 km around it with Madurai, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari, a world-class hospital with over 500-beds, mobile medical facilities to locals and creation of 10,000 jobs to people living within a radius of 60 km and bank loans to youth with up to 25% subsidy.

In his study report submitted to the state government, Kalam also suggested creating infrastructure facilities like construction of green houses, multi-storeyed housing complex and playgrounds. He said fishermen in the area should be provided with motorboats, small jetties and cold-storage facilities.

Kalam, who prepared the report along with his advisor V Ponraj, said efforts should be made to provide locals one million litre of drinking water through desalination process and water should be brought from Pechiparai reservoir in Kanyakumari district for agriculture and drinking water needs.

The report also suggested setting up of five CBSE and state government syllabus schools with hostel facilities, connecting all villages through broadband Internet, setting up of Disaster Protection and Management Centre and guiding selected youth to get permanent employment.

At the same time, efforts should be made to remove people's fears by providing relevant information, and with their full co-operation the plant should start functioning as scheduled to enable Tamil Nadu to get 1000 MW power.

Kalam's report noted that government had formulated very stringent regulations on setting up nuclear reactors and Kudankulam can withstand even double onslaught of tsunami and earthquake together. The site for setting up the reactor was selected after taking into account enough safety aspects and as per Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Code of Practice on Safety in Nuclear Power Plants.

Hence, there was "no need for any doubts on the safety aspects" and Environmental Impact Assessment, it said. Kalam said 1.5 km radius around the plant was an exclusive sterilised zone and the site came within the project and there was no question of any displacement of habitants.

Arguing that Tamil Nadu was free from seismic disturbances during the last 1000 years, he said the towers of Meenakshi Temple at Madurai and Big Temple at Thanjavur had not been affected by any earthquake. Citing the historic Grand Anicut built by Chola emperor Karikalan in the first century AD, Kalam said if the king had thought that the dam would burst and destroy humanity, the dam would not have come up and so the present apprehensions on KNPP were unnecessary and unwarranted.

Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power station currently under construction in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Cost estimation of this project was US$3 billion.

The Inter-Governmental Agreement on the project was signed on November 20, 1988 by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. The project was in limbo for 10 years. There has been considerable struggle to stop this project due to nuclear pollution reasons[citation needed]. While United States complained about the agreement as it does not meet with the terms of the Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG), Russia contends that the Koodankulam deal was originally signed in 1988 and is therefore not subject to the 1992 NSG guidelines.[1]

There are negotiations to see if a naval base is to be added here for both safeguarding the project and as a presence in the southern tip of the country.[2] A mini port became operational in Koodankulam on January 14, 2004.[3] The port has been established to receive barges carrying overdimensional equipments for light water reactors from ships anchored at a distance of 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi). This removes the necessity of land transportation that increases the possibility of damage. The Sethusamudram project will enhance the military and provide Nuclear Submarine base in the canal, with the nuclear fuel supplied by the Koodankulam Nuclear Project.

In 2008, an agreement on building additional reactors at the atomic station was initialized.[4]

[edit] Technical description
Two 1 GW units of the VVER-1000 model are being constructed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. When the two are completed, it will become the largest nuclear power generation complex in India producing a cumulative of 2 GW of electric power. Both units are Water Cooled Water Moderated Power Reactors.[5] The first unit is estimated to go into operation in December 2009, while the second one is set for March 2010.[6][7] Four more reactors are set to be added to this plant.[8] This will add another 2.5 GW output from the project. When completed, this will provide about 40% of the nuclear power in India

Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Country India
Owner Nuclear Power Corporation of India LTD.
Built 1998
Reactors under construction 2 (2000 MW)

Koodankulam Issues

CHENNAI: If the last two months have been punctuated by intense protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power project, the pro-plant camp too has held occasional strikes and fasts in the southern and western districts.

But Chennai, which remained largely silent, is now being subjected to a low-key campaign in favour of the project. The campaign, however, islargely aimed at colleges and state-run institutions.

The most recent of them was an event held at Anna University on Saturday, inviting the students to debate on the issue of Kudankulam. "Youngsters need to be aware of the processes and ramifications of nuclear energy and whether it is really as vulnerable as many make it out to be," said P K N Panicker, president of Chemical Industries Association, which had organised the debate.

The association has been actively campaigning in favour of the project for the past two months and also writing letters to the chief minister, J Jayalalithaa, urging her to facilitate early commissioning of the plant.

"We are also in the process of setting up similar discussions and debates in seven other colleges in the city," Panicker said. Some of these events are being chaired by members of the central expert committee as well as representatives of the nuclear fraternity.

"These debates go on to show how much the public needs to know about this issue," said W S Aruldoss Kanthiah, a member of the central expert committee and the Department of Atomic Energy, who was acting judge at one such event. "We have also approached the state government for permission to address the state expert committee as well other state-run platforms."

Ironically, the nuclear scientists community, who are generally considered to be close-mouthed, are now spotted urging the students and college heads to approach them for guided tours of the facilities at Kalpakkam atomic power station.

While Chennai is latest target of a subtle and urbane campaign in favour of the plant, other districts of Tamil Nadu have been bristling with strikes and fasts. In November, various interested groups organised a human chain in Madurai, urging the government to open the plant.

On December 20, 2011, over 400 smallscale industries in Erode district observed a one-day strike urging the government to commission the plant. Similarly, large industries too went on a strike in Coimbatore while fasts were observed in Tirunelveli by several groups including Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC).

Recruitment of Executive Trainee in Nuclear Power Corporation Of India Limited

NPCIL Recruitment of Executive Trainee in Nuclear Power Corporation Of India Limited
Job or Vacancy Description:

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)
invites applications from ENGINEERING GRADUATES to join NPCIL as
Executive Trainee ( ET-2011)

1. Executive Trainee ( ET-2011) : 250 Posts

Qualification :Graduate in Engineering

Disciplines :


Note After successful completion of one year training they will be appointed as Scientific Officers
in any one of the units/sites/offices of NPCIL located at different parts of the country

Tentative Last Date : 1-04-2011

About the organization:

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is a Public Sector Enterprise under the administrative control of the
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India.
The Company was registered as a Public Limited Company under the Companies Act, 1956 in September 1987 with the objective of operating the atomic power stations and implementing the atomic power projects for generation of electricity in pursuance of the schemes and programmes of the Government of India under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962. NPCIL is a MOU signing Company with DAE. Presently NPCIL is operating nineteen nuclear power plants with total installed capacity of 4560 MWe, has seven reactors under construction totaling 5020 MWe capacity. NPCIL has achieved more than 315 reactor years of safe nuclear power plant operating experience. NPCIL operates plants with motto ‘Safety first and Production next’. NPCIL generated about 90 billion units of electricity in the X plan (2002-2007) exceeding the set target by about 10%, and added 1180 MWe capacity against the target of 1300 MWe capacity, thus realizing 91% of the target capacity addition. In the year 2009-10 RAPP-5&6 (2×220 MWe capacity) commenced commercial operation. Also, RAPS-2 (200 MWe capacity) was synchronized to grid after successfully carrying out EMFR works. The Mission of the Company is ‘To develop nuclear power technology and to produce nuclear power as a safe, environmentally benign and economically viable source of electrical energy to meet the increasing electricity needs of the country’. The company is currently operating 19 nuclear power units at six locations and is implementing construction of 7 reactors at four locations. Many units of NPCIL have recorded non-stop continuous run of more than a year. In the year 2002-03, NPCIL recorded an impressive overall capacity factor of 90% for its operating units. The overall availability factor of operating units in the year 2009-10 was 92%. NPCIL completed its new units namely TAPS-3&4 and KGS-3 with gestation periods matching international level achievements in construction of nuclear power plants. NPCIL has also equity participation in BHAVINI, an organization formed for implementation for Fast Breeder Reactors programme in the country. The operating nuclear power units are Tarapur Atomic Power Station Units-1&2 (2×160 MWe BWRs), Tarapur Atomic Power Station Units-3&4 (2×540 MWe PHWRs), Rajasthan Atomic Power Station Units 1- 6 (100 MWe, 200 MWe and 4×220 MWe PHWRs), Madras Atomic Power Station Units-1&2 (2×220 MWe PHWRs), Narora Atomic power Station Units-1&2 (2×220 MWe PHWRs), Kakrapar Atomic Station Units-1&2 (2×220 MWe PHWRs) and Kaiga Generating Station Unit-1 to 3 (3×220 MWe PHWRs). The Units under construction are Unit-4 (220 MWe PHWR) of Kaiga Atomic Power Project, Unit-1&2(2×1000 MWe PWRs) of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, Units-7&8 (2×700 MWe PHWRs) of Rjasthan Atomic Power Project and Unit-3&4 (2×700 MWe PHWRs) of Kakrapar Atomic Power Project.

Address :
Nuclear Power Corporation Of India Limited
A Govt. of India Enterprise)

Vacancy Details
Click above to download
the vacancy details

Reactors for Koodankulam

RUSSIA is to supply two more 1,000 MWe VVER-1000 nuclear power reactors for the Koodankulam Atomic Power Project (KAPP) in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu. Construction of two reactors of the same specification purchased earlier from Russia is already on. Koodankulam will thus have four Russian reactors. The plant has the capacity to accommodate a total of eight units. The Russian reactors will use enriched uranium as fuel, and light water as coolant and moderator.

Russia lobbied hard for the supply of these additional reactors. At the first pour of concrete for the first two units that took place on March 31, 2002, (Frontline, April 26, 2002) E.A. Reshetnikov, the Russian Deputy Minister for Atomic Energy, presented Russia's case for building more reactors. But the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) did not respond to the overtures immediately. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPC) was prepared to construct reactors of 700 MWe or 1,000 MWe capacity if the Russian offer was not commercially viable. Finally, an agreement was reached by late 2002 on the supply of two additional reactors.

An announcement on the deal was to be made when Russian President Vladimir Putin visited New Delhi in the first week of December 2002, informed sources said. It was , however, not made considering the "international sensitivities" on nuclear-related sales. The United States has consistently opposed Russia supplying nuclear reactors to India on the grounds that the latter is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), of which Russia is a member, also asked the latter not to supply reactors to India. What stood in India's favour is that it is not considered a nuclear proliferator, sources pointed out. The safety record of India's reactors is considered good. India has also respected the voluntary moratorium after the five nuclear tests conducted in May 1998 at Pokhran, Rajasthan.

While Russia will provide the reactor design and supply equipment such as reactor vessels, turbines, steam generators and so forth, NPC will build the two units. A contract was signed between NPC and the Russian company Atomstroyexport in Moscow in February 2002 for the supply of equipment.

At a press conference in Chennai on March 20, S.K. Jain, executive director (Light Water Reactors), NPC, said that there was speedy progress in the construction of the first two units. "We have signed contracts with the Russians for Rs.8,000 crores" for the supply of equipment, Jain said. Most of the equipment was in advanced stages of fabrication . "The main core of the reactor, which was to arrive in 2005, will arrive in 2004 itself," Jain said. According to him, the first unit will start generating electricity four and half years from now. The second unit will go critical six months later.

S.K. Agrawal, project director of the KAPP, said that 98 per cent of those recruited so far at the project were from Tamil Nadu. "Quite a good number of them belong to local areas. This for both technical and non-technical jobs," he said. Those who gave land for the project have been provided with jobs. Thousands of saplings have also been planted on the 420-hectare site.

S.A. Bohra, senior executive director (technical), NPC, said that the Centre had given financial approval for the construction of two reactors of 1,000 MWe each and two reactors of 700 MWe each in the Tenth Plan. He added that the Centre may approve construction of two more 1,000 MWe and another two 700 MWe reactors. According to Bohra, no more 220 MWe Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) will be built. All future indigenous PHWRs will be of 700 MWe or 1,000 Mwe. Nine reactors are under construction. They include four PHWRs of 220 MWe (two each at Rawatbhatta in Rajasthan and Kaiga in Karnataka), two indigenous PHWRs of 540 MWe each at Tarapur in Maharashtra, two Russian units at Koodankulam, and the 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu. Pre-project activities of the PFBR were in full swing, he added. Fourteen reactors are generating 2,720 MWe in the country now.

Koodankulam project delay led to power shortage

CHENNAI: The failure to commission the Koodankulam nuclear power project on time has led to the present power shortage in Tamil Nadu, S. Machendranathan, Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, said on Saturday.

Delivering the keynote address at a seminar, he said: “We have 2-4 per cent power shortage. But this should not deter us. The shortage could have been met, if the Koodankulam project was commissioned on time. However, in the past two years, there has been a tremendous increase in power demand, for which we have not done any planning.”

Soon after taking over the reins in November, Mr. Machendranathan had discussions with Board officials to bring down the peak load at summer. It was projected that the State might fall short of 400 MW, and he suggested that industrial units stagger holidays to meet the shortage. “Till now, we have managed the demand. If the Koodankulam project comes on, our problem will be solved. We hope it will be ready by March 2009,” he said.

Explaining the initiatives taken by the Board to generate more power during the 11th Plan, he said the new projects would generate additional 2200 MW by 2011.

On the improved power situation in the State, Mr. Machendranathan said electricity generated through windmills touched an all-time high of 1800 MW on Thursday.