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Posted at: Jun 8, 2019, 1:34 PM; last updated: Jun 8, 2019, 1:40 PM (IST)

New technology to delay Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, once again

New technology to delay Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, once again
Tribune file photo for representational purpose only.

Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service
Mumbai, June 8
Operations at the long-delayed Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district will not commence anytime soon.The new-generation atomic power reactors required for the plant are still undergoing refinement, say sources. 
The new reactors have been offered by the technology partner Electricite de France (EDF).
Technology is still being developed for the six new European Pressurised Reactors (EPRs), according to sources at the Nuclear Power Corporation (NCP) which will operate the plant. The EPRs will generate a total of 9,900 MW of power, once fully commissioned.
It is important to note that EDF is building three power plants in the world, none of which are currently operational.
Of the three—work at Flamanville in France which will be the 'reference site' for the Jaitapur nuclear plant—is expected to be completed only later this year.
Experts from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) will study the functioning of the Flamanville plant and make recommendations, including those related to safety aspects. The reactors for the Jaitapur plant will be built only after this.
According to officials, all three plants that are partnered with EDF have been under construction for nearly a decade now. 
The plants have also incurred extensive time and cost over-runs, the international press has reported. 
According to sources, another concern is the cost of the power that will be generated by the Jaitapur plant.
Can’t say when plant will begin operation: NPC officials
NPC officials say it would not be possible to give a time-frame as to when the Jaitapur plant would be operational. 
It is only after the Flamanville reactor runs for a while that any issues related to its functioning will come to light, say officials. 
Jaitapur project long delayed 
In 2008, when the Indo-French nuclear power agreement was signed, it was estimated that the Jaitapur plant would be fully operational in the next 20 years.
Since then Areva, the contractor who was to provide the technology for the reactors, went bankrupt and was taken over by EDF.
The project was also delayed by farmers’ protests as they were opposed to the acquisition of their land. 
However, the government has now acquired 968 hectares required for the project and handed it over to the NPC.


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