Nuclear Power Current Affairs - 2019

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India registers record production of nuclear fuel

India has registered a major milestone for the nuclear industry by producing record nuclear fuel i.e. producing over 1,252 Metric Tonne (MT) of uranium bundles.

Hyderabad-based Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) has contributed to achieve this milestone by producing over 30 per cent more fuel compared to its 961.023 MT fuel production in 2013-14.

The recorded production also has exceeded country’s annual fuel requirement of 650 MT for the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs). This surplus nuclear fuel production can last for at least a few months.

Nuclear fuel production in India

  • Since 2008, the nuclear fuel production in the country has seen a steady increase.
  • This increase in production has been attributed to the Indo-US nuclear deal and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) which had simplified the process of acquiring uranium.
  • In 2008-09, NFC had produced 226.89 MT nuclear fuel, prior to signing Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008.
  • But after the Indo-US nuclear deal the production had increased to 600.91 MT in 2009-10.

At present, India produces around 5,780 megawatts (MW) of nuclear power. Of this total power produced 4,780 MW of electricity is generated by fuel processed at the NFC.

Mithivirdi nuclear plant gets CRZ nod from Union Government

Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) has given coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) nod to the 6,000-MW Mithivirdi Nuclear Power Plant of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat.

The clearance was granted by MoEFCC for constructing an intake and outfall facility in the plant. This intake channel will be 100 metre wide and 10 metre deep and a discharge facility comprising of Condenser Cooling Water Discharge tunnels will be 8 metre diameter and 6 kms in length for each two units and a total of 18 kms each for units.

MoEFCC also has proposed to construct a small barge handling marine facility having a draft of 3-4 metres. It will help for receiving and handling over dimensional consignments (ODCs) during the construction stage of the plant and will be in the form of a shore-based wharf type or an open-piled jetty system.

MoEFCC also asked NPCIL to examine possibilities of deploying ultrasonic devices with the help of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) to divert the aquatic life from entering into the sea water intake in connection. The ministry also has asked filters to be provided at intake to prevent entry of marine life along with the sea water.

It should be noted that this environmental clearance for the plant is seen as a big boost for NPCIL that has been facing severe opposition from local farmers and social activists.