Clear power ahead

Two mega projects — the 2 x 1,000mw Kudankulam project built with Russian assistance and the 500mw indigenously developed prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) — are expected to propel the state into prominence on the nuclear power map.

The proposed PFBR got the necessary fillip when the test reactor, known as fast breeder test reactor, achieved a fuel burn-up of 1 lakh mw d/t without any fuel pin failure. Fuel burn-up is defined as the number of fissions that have occurred per one hundred atoms of initially present fissile elements in the reactor.

Currently the state has two 170mw (downgraded from 220mw) units generation power at Kalpakkam. According to atomic power industry officials, the two units will be re-rated to its original capacity soon.

Tamil Nadu projects aside, elsewhere in India an additional capacity of 1,960mw is now under construction.

Projects under construction
Plant Capacity MW
TAPS 3&4 2x540
RAPS 5&6 2x220
Kaiga 3&4 2x220
Kudankulam 2x1000
Kalpakkam 1x500

In order to achieve 20,920mw by 2020, the nuclear power industry has finalised the kind of reactors to be used for generation, though their locations are yet to be fixed.

Reactors planned
Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors 8x680 MW
Light Water Reactors 6x1000 MW
Prototype Fast Breeder
Reactor 1x500 MW
Fast Breeder Reactors 4x500 MW
Advanced Heavy Water Reactors 1x500 MW
Total 14240 MW