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MAPS units renew operational licence till Dec 2015

Posted on Aug 30 2014 | IANS

Chennai, Aug 30 : The NPCIL's two power reactors at Kalpakkam have renewed their operational licence with the sectoral regulator till Dec 2015, a senior official said Saturday.

The two units may increase their power output next year, he said.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) has two 220 MW nuclear power reactors at the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) in Kalpakkam, about 70 km from here.

"We have renewed the licence to operate the two units till Dec 2015. The two units are generating about 170 MW. We may increase the power output next year," MAPS station director T.J. Kotteeswaran told IANS over phone from Kalpakkam Saturday.

Normally, an operational nuclear power station is given licence for five years.

But pending implementation of safety measures/upgrades after the Fukushima accident in Japan, India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has been issuing short-term operational licence to units that have to implement the safety recommendations in full.

"Most safety recommendations have been implemented. We are in the process of implementing the remaining recommendations. The equipment needed for that are long-delivery items and tenders are under process," Kotteeswaran said.

According to him, it will take about three years to implement the recommendations in full.

Kotteeswaran said the second unit at MAPS will reach the milestone of operating for a year without any break Sep 29. The unit has been functioning continuously for more than 340 days.

He said the department of atomic energy will be celebrating its diamond jubilee this year.

Meanwhile, AERB said the fast breeder test reactor (FBTR) at the Kalpakkam complex belonging to the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) last year got the operational licence for five years.

The small unit got the five year full operational licence after it submitted the progress report on the pending issues identified during the periodic safety review.

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