The central government is looking at possible sites in the northern states of Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana for setting up new atomic power plants, a minister said on Tuesday.
“We are exploring the possibility of having such establishments in other places, for example near Dehradun in Utarakhand and near Patiala in Punjab. We are also looking for a place in Bhiwani in Haryana,” Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said while addressing a conference here on nuclear power organised by industry chamber Assocham.
“The present government can stake claim of having set up an atomic energy plant in Gorakhpur in Haryana, so we have brought atomic energy northwards which it had been waiting for 60-70 years and we made it to cross through Delhi because atomic energy never had the opportunity to see the capital of this country,” he added.
The Prime Minister’s Office looks after the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
Of the 22 nuclear power plants in the country, the majority are located in western and southern India.
Singh said most of the atomic energy generation was confined mostly to Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
“Atomic energy had remained confined to certain parts of the country, in Tarapur for obvious reasons because Dr Bhabha had set up his first establishment in Mumbai then we had south but we hardly had any presence in north India,” he said.
“The nuclear power plant being set up in Haryana will become operational by about next year at the cost of just Rs 6 per unit,” he added.
Singh also said that within the next ten years India will have at least 25 per cent of energy sourced from nuclear sector.
“That is going to be a remarkable achievement because energy needs of the country are growing very fast and it is going to be cost-effective,” he said.
In this connection, Russia has offered India a new range of reactor units – the VVER-Toi (typical optimised, enhanced information) design – for the third and fourth units of the Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu being built by its atomic power corporation Rosatom.
An inter-governmental agreement between India and Russia was signed in December 2008 for setting up Kudankulam’s units 3 to 6. The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 and 4 was performed earlier this year.