Visakhapatnam: The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is gearing up to do a fresh Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study due to the changes in the reactors that are to be installed at the proposed Kovvada Nuclear Park (KNP), in Srikakulam.
The move comes in the backdrop of GE-Hitachi showing no interest in the proposed power plant project at Kovvada though land was offered to it. After GE-Hitachi expressed its inability to partner in KNP an-other American company, Toshiba Corp’s Westinghouse Electric, was offered the Kovvada site by NPCIL.
While GE-Hitachi’s nuke reactors were of 1593 mw capacity Westinghouse Electric’s AP-1000 Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) is of 1100 mw capacity.
Interestingly, this is for the third time that the KNP capacity has been changed since the proposal was first mooted.
Initially, the Centre planned to set up the nuke energy plant with the capacity to generate 6,000 mw of nuclear energy with six reactors. Later, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) accepted the proposal of NPCIL to increase capacity from 6,000 mw to 9,540 mw with six reactors of 1,593 mw each.
NPCIL will begin the fresh EIA study after the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US in the coming week. The Terms of Reference (ToR) are now being prepared.
“The earlier EIA report has already lapsed and we need to prepare a new one. Now, since there is also change in the reactors rating / capacity we need to prepare a new EIA report accordingly. The EIA study is expected to begin in a month or two after we submit a fresh ToR. Once the EIA study begins we are confident of submitting the report in a year's time then put it in public domain to elicit public opinion and then go for public hearing. Most likely we may consider the ToR prepared by NPCIL for the Mithi Virdi site in Gujarat offered to Westinghouse,’’ NPCIL chief engineer and Kovvada Nuclear Park (KNP) project director, G.V. Ramesh told this newspaper.
He added that around 23 reactors of Westinghouse are in operation in China.
Another NPCIL senior official said that since GE-Hitachi was not forthcoming, Kovvada site has been offered to Westinghouse Electric. NPCIL has already launched land survey and within a few days socio impact assessment survey will begin in the villages that are going to be affected by the nuke energy plant.