The AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu has decided to open 100 Amma Marunthagam (pharmacies) across the state. The move is likely to win more goodwill for chief minister J Jayalalithaa. The state already have some other welfare schemes like Amma canteens, water and salt which provide services at subsidized price. The new Amma Pharmacies will provide subsidized medicine for the poor. CM Jayalalithaa had promised the people for the creation of a welfare state and these steps seem to be the echo the same commitment. The state government had announced that Rs 20 crore will be used from the price distribution fund for opening the Amma pharmacies.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Shaktikanta Das, a 1980 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, as the new Revenue Secretary, replacing Rajiv Takru.
Mr. Das, who is at present Fertilizers Secretary in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, will take charge as Revenue Secretary in the finance ministry after Mr. Takru relinquishes the post.
Russia has in principle agreed on Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010 with India. This paves the way for signing a contract for unit 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in July, 2014. In April, 2014, a General Framework Agreement was inked between India and Russia on unit 3 and 4 after overcoming the initial hurdles of the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010.
The agreement which was expected to be signed in October 2013 during the then Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s visit to Russia, as Moscow raised objection over some clauses of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act. India has built Units 1 and 2 of Tamil Nadu-based Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) with the help of Russian assistance at the cost of Rs 17,200 crore. The Unit 1 of the KKNPP has attained 100% capacity of 1000 MW while the second unit should start generating power from this year.
Because of high costs, insuring the nuclear power plants is a challenging task as there is no single governmental insurance company in the country that can insure these installations with such hefty costs. The Department of Atomic Energy has asked the Ministry of Finance to set up a Nuclear Insurance Pool after the General Insurance Company was unable to insure Nuclear Power Plants.
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) achieved its full power generation potential and thus became India’s first nuclear power plant to generate 1,000 Mega Watt (MW) of electricity. Other nuclear plants in India generally generate only around 540 MW of power while in the case of thermal plants it could increase up to 660 or 680 MW. Thus, in terms of capacity, Kudankulam Unit I is a significant achievement.
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP)
KNPP is a nuclear power plant in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu in India. The plant’s first reactor is the first Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) belonging to the Light Water Reactor (LWR) category in India, and the 21st nuclear power reactor in the country. It is considered as “the harbinger of the large-size LWR technology in India“. The plant faced several impediments during its construction phase from March 31, 2002 to 2013 which delayed it.
- Delayed: The project was delayed mainly due to the 500-day long anti-nuclear protests by the locals, led by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE). The first reactor of the plant attained criticality on July 13, 2013.
- Duration: Around 6 years after the scheduled date, and 12 years after the construction of the plant started, the plant was commissioned when unit 1 was synchronized with the southern power grid on October 22, 2013.
Cost: The original cost of the two units was Rs. 13,171 crore, but it was later revised to Rs. 17,270 crore. A credit of Rs. 6,416 crore was advanced by Russia to both the units- I and II of Kudankulam.