Sunday, October 5, 2008

N-plant may come up in Pulivendula

Hyderabad, Oct. 4: The first-ever nuclear power plant in the state with a capacity of 2,000 MW is likely to come up in Pulivendula, the constituency of the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy. Though the official announcement on this is yet to be made, the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) is trying to acquire 2,000 acres in the area for the project.The presence of the uranium mine and milling project at Thummalapalli in Kadapa district has also given legitimacy to the government move to set up the nuclear power plant nearby. Uranium is the key element in the generation of nuclear energy. Dr Anil Kakodkar, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, and Mr Ramendra Gupta, chairmen of the Uranium Corporation of India, are visiting Kadapa district on October 5 to see the progress of work in the uranium project.It is learnt that they will also be inspecting the area chosen to set up the nuclear plant. The Uranium Corporation is building the mine and mill at a cost of Rs 1,129 crore. It would have a capacity to produce 150,000 tonnes of uranium a year.
“As of now both Srikakulam and Kadapa are in race as both of them have plenty of uranium reserves,” said Mr Ajay Jain, managing director of AP Genco, which has been asked to set up the plant in a joint-venture with Nuclear Power Corporation. “The expert committee will inspect the sites,” Mr Jain added. However, a senior official said that the government had almost finalised Kadapa as the ideal location for the power plant. It was Dr Reddy’s personal intervention that ensured the setting up of the uranium project in Kadapa though NGOs and environmentalists protested. In fact, Kadapa has got a series of prestigious projects since Dr Reddy took over as the Chief Minister.