CHENNAI: With the inordinate delay in commissioning of the 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation has written to the Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (Bhavini) seeking the present status of the nuclear power project as it was forced to procure high-cost power to meet the demand owing to the delay.
In a letter to Bhavini recently, Tangedco said that the status of the proposed 500 MW nuclear power from the Bhavini prototype fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam is not known to it at present. “The Ministry of Power through a notification dated May 12, 2014, has allocated 151.8 MW power to Tamil Nadu from the PFBR at Kalpakkam,” it said.
It may be noted that in the 36th Southern Regional Power Committee meeting held on July 12, 2019, it has been recorded that the probable period of commissioning of the PFBR as per Bhavini’s letter is the end of 2020. However, in the 40th Technical Coordination Committee meeting held on June 3, this year, the status of commissioning of the PFBR was discussed, but no decision has been recorded about the same,” it said.
“As the project commissioning is indefinitely delayed, Tangedco having the major share in the Bhavini project incurs additional expenditure towards purchasing high-cost power to meet the demand. Further, the proposed generation addition is considered in the annual Load-Generation Planning of Tangedco year after year,” the letter said.
The construction of the PFBR at Kalpakkam began in 2004 with a target to commence commercial operation in 2011 but the project has been facing various delays.
Sources said that the overall construction of PFBR and commissioning of individual systems have been completed and the integrated commissioning of various systems is steadily progressing. “Considering that the PFBR is constructed indigenously, it is taking time to commission,” sources said, without giving any timeframe for the commissioning of the nuclear power project.