MUMBAI: Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC) would soon approach Atomic Energy Regulatory Board to load fuel in the first unit, and start sourcing additional investment.
The chairman and managing director, S K Jain, of the state-run entity said: “NPC will in the next two months approach Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) with its plea to load the fuel in the first unit. Immediately after the state cabinet’s approval, almost 800 of the total 1,000 employees have already gone into the plant. We will work round the clock to commission the first unit of 1,000 MW at the earliest.”
NPC would need Rs 800-1,000 crore, for which it would go to banks, financial institutions and also look at internal resources, Jain said. NPC has already spent Rs 14,000 crore on the development of two units of 1,000 MW each.
A visibly relaxed Jain said that NPC has already held talks with Indian and Russian contractors for early remobilisation of workers. “Russian contractors have assured that those who have left the site will report back within a week. Similarly, we expect contract workers from within the country to also come back soon. The first unit is almost 99 per cent complete while the second unit is more than 97 per cent. We will make all efforts for early commissioning of the project. I will visit the plant site early next week,” Jain said.
About 300 personnel from NPC’s seven projects would be deployed at the Kudankulam project to expedite the project, he said.
“There will not be any shortcuts nor compromise on safety and security during the commissioning of the Kudankulam project. Utmost importance is given on this accept. NPC has revisited the safety applications after the Fukushima disaster. The expert panel appointed by the central government and another group set up Tamil Nadu government have recommended that Kudankulam project meets current safety standards,” Jain said.
Moreover, he clarified that the NPC would continue to develop Kudankulam and those in the pipeline in the transparent manner and by taking villagers into confidence.
Jain admitted that the protests and the subsequent stoppage of development work have led to a loss of time and money. “We are a democratic country. There is freedom to talk. However, NPC will continue it efforts to take those people having different views on board by allaying fears and doubts. NPC is a Government of India undertaking and those who retire from the organisation will continue to be liable even after retirement. Whatever shortcomings are there, we are committed to remove them by taking villagers into confidence,” he added.
The corporation was reportedly incurring a daily loss of Rs 5 crore and a monthly loss of Rs 150 crore (Rs 90 crore on interest payment and Rs 60 crore on establishment) since the project development came to a halt in mid-October. “Due to the non-commissioning of the first unit, which would have been done in December last year, there has been a generation loss of 4,000 million units. Had NPC generated this much power, it could have earned a revenue of Rs 1,200 crore. But it is now a deemed loss for us. Despite this, the per unit tariff of the Kudankulam project will be Rs 2.80,” he said.