Fast reactor company to sell power for Rs.5.30-Rs.6 per unit

Chennai, Oct 22 (IANS) India’s fast breeder reactor company, Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd on Thursday said it is expecting to sell the power generated from its prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) between Rs.5.30-Rs.6 per unit.

“We are having discussions with the CEA (Central Electricity Authority) on this aspect. Our power cost will be between Rs.5.30 and Rs.6.00 per unit,” its chairman and managing director P.Chellapandi told IANS.

He said the tariff may look on the higher side but what should be kept in mind is that this project is the first of its kind and the unit is a prototype unit.

“Normally the cost of prototype unit will be higher as compared to commercial units. The power tariff and investment of our commercial units will be as comparable with that of 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactors,” Chellapandi said.

A breeder reactor is one that breeds more material for a nuclear fission reaction than it consumes. The PFBR will be fuelled by a blend of plutonium and uranium oxide, called MOX fuel.

The government-owned BHAVINI is setting up the country’s first indigenously-designed 500 MW PFBR at Kalpakkam, around 80 km from Chennai.

The Rs.5,400 crore PFBR is presently under advanced stage of commissioning achieving a physical progress of around 98 percent.

“Our internal target is to start fission process end 2015 or during Pongal festival next year (mid January 2016). Staring of commercial power generation is expected to happen sometime later that year,” Chellapandi said.

According to him, the company has submitted project related documents to Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).

“The commissioning of the reactor will be in three phases. After getting AERB’s nod, the sodium will be loaded. It will be followed by loading of the fuel and then increasing the power levels,” Chellapandi said.

Meanwhile BHAVINI officials are busy testing all the PFBR systems including the communication/instrumentation network.

Queried about the project status of the next two fast reactors (600 MW FBR 1&2) at Kalpakkam, Chellapandi said detailed project report (DPR) is under preparation.

“Construction and technical teams have been formed. Site evaluation report has been submitted,” he said.

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