N-power capacity failed to rise: Economic Survey

March 15th, 2012 - 9:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Chennai, March 15 (IANS) Even though the generation of nuclear power increased by 33 percent this fiscal, no capacity was added against a target of 2,000 MW, the Economic Survey said Thursday.

According to the survey tabled in the parliament by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) initially envisaged a capacity addition of 78,700 MW, of which 75.8 percent was thermal, 19.9 percent was hydro, and 4.3 percent was nuclear.

“At the time of the mid-term appraisal of the Eleventh Plan, the target was revised to 62,374 MW with thermal, hydro, and nuclear segments contributing 50,757 MW, 8,237 MW and 3,380 MW respectively,” the survey noted.

“Capacity addition of 46,669.7 MW has so far been achieved until Jan 15, 2012. Projects with a capacity of 7,645 MW are under construction for commissioning during the remaining period. Capacity addition during the Eleventh Plan is, therefore, expected to be about 50,000-52,000 MW.

The anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) agitation has spooked the addition of 2,000 MW new atomic power capacity addition this year.

Atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW reactors with Russian technology at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here.

Villagers who have safety concerns have been protesting against the plant. They are also concerned about the long-term impact of the nuclear plant on the population.

Their agitation, spearheaded by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, has put a stop to the project work, delaying the commissioning of the first unit by several months.

In September, the Tamil Nadu cabinet passed a resolution asking the central government to stop all project related work till the fears of the locals about the plant were allayed.

Speaking to IANS, a senior NPCIL official preferring anonymity said: “The 2,000 MW capacity addition target is only from the Kudankulam project as other projects of NPCIL are under construction.”

On the status of KNPP he said: “Only maintenance activity of the first reactor is being done with skeletal staff. Several truck loads of components have been unloaded at the employee township as the vehicles were not allowed to go inside the project complex.”

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