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NPC reaps first N-deal gains, output up 35%

Sanjay Jog  |  Mumbai 

India’s move to sign civil nuclear deals with various countries and gaining access to the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) have started yielding results.

S K JainState-run Nuclear Power Corporation’s (NPC’s) generation has increased to 24,100 million units (MUs) this year so far from 18,831 MUs in financial year 2009-10. It is expected to touch 25,500 MUs by the end of the financial year, a rise of almost 35 per cent.

This is largely due to higher availability of uranium from France, Russia and Kazakhstan under inter-government agreements.

Areva of France has supplied NPC 300 tonnes uranium for Rajasthan Unit-2, which is operating above 100 per cent capacity. India has entered into long-term uranium supply agreements with Russia and Kazakhstan. NPC’s installed capacity from 19 reactors is 4,680 Mw.

Besides, domestic uranium supply from the six mines in Jharkhand has risen 1.5 times in a year.

* NPC envisages installation of 40,000 Mw capacity with the help of international cooperation by building light water reactors
* Four vendors to supply reactors of 10,000 Mw each. 
These are
   * Atomstroy Exports (Russian Federation)    * Areva (France)
   * Westinghouse (US)                                 * GE-Hitachi (US) 
n NPC has so far signed early works contracts with 
Atomstroy Exports and Areva

NPC’s turnover from selling power is expected to jump to Rs 5,000 crore from Rs 3,807 crore last year. Net profit would reach Rs 1,000 crore as against Rs 416 crore last year. Further, the average plant load factor (PLF) —a measure of average capacity utilisation — has risen to 90 per cent for reactors that run on imported uranium compared to 50 per cent last year.

“The nine reactors under safeguards, comprising Tarapur 1 &2, Rajasthan 2-6 and Kakrapar 1 & 2, have shown a remarkable improvement in generation due to the increase in availability of imported uranium.” NPC Chairman and Managing Director SK Jain told Business Standard.

These were earlier operating below capacity. “For the last three to four months, their PLF has risen sharply. The Rajasthan units are operating at over 100 per cent,” he said.

Jain said PLF of un-safeguarded reactors that ran on domestic uranium had risen to about 60 per cent from 45 per cent. “In a nutshell, the improvement in uranium supply, both from foreign and domestic sources, has resulted in generation of 1,500 Mw,” he said.

“Another achievement of NPC has been continuous operation of Tarapur-2 for 590 days before it was shut down for refuelling outage a day before,” said Jain.

First Published: Tue, March 08 2011. 00:05 IST