Mumbai: As India’s civil nuclear industry enters a new phase, the energy-starved nation can look forward to having 6,000 MW atomic power by the year-end from the indigenous plants.
The 17 plants, currently operating below 40% of their capacity, will be able to operate at 90% load factor in the next 12 months with the availability of uranium from France and Russia, union minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh said.
With the recent signing of contracts for uranium supply with French company Areva and Russian firm TVEL, it is expected that Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) will be able to receive the fuel shortly and can increase the power output up to 6,000 MW before 2009-end, he said.
Ramesh was speaking to reporters after the signing of a MoU here between NPCIL and NTPC for setting up a joint venture for power plants.
NPCIL’s installed capacity is 4,120 MW and but output is only 1,800 MW due to fuel shortage.
“With the imported uranium, it is possible to operate the 17 plants at 90% load factor,” he said.
“In addition, three plants - Rajasthan Atomic Power’s units 5 and 6, Kaiga power plant unit 4 (all 220 MW each) and one unit of Koodankulam plant of 1,000 MW will begin operation in 2009, taking the total nuclear power production by this year-end to around 6,000 MW,“he said.