A ceremony has been held to mark the start of groundbreaking for units 7 and 8 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) in India. First concrete is scheduled to be poured at the site before the end of the year.
Excavation work started at the site on 19 August, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) reported. Approval to start the work had been granted the previous day by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).
|A traditional Bhoomi Pajan ceremony is performed to inaugurate the site for the construction of RAPP 7 and 8 (Image: NPCIL)
RAPP 7 and 8 will be 700 MWe indigenously designed pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs). The pouring of first concrete for the units is planned for December, after excavation works have been completed. The reactors are scheduled to begin commercial operation in June and December 2016, respectively. The estimated cost of constructing the two units is put at Rs 123.2 billion ($2.6 billion).
In May, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) was awarded an Rs 8880 million ($188 million) contract by NPCIL to undertake main plant civil works of RAPP 7 and 8. HCC has constructed all six existing units at RAPP, which are also PHWRs of varying sizes, the first of which began operating in 1973 and the latest earlier this year.
The Indian government gave the go-ahead for the construction of RAPP 7 and 8 in October 2009. At the same time, it approved the construction of two further 700 MWe PHWRs at Kakrapar in Gujarat state. According to NPCIL, excavation work has now been completed for the two units at Kakrapar and the company is awaiting approval from the AERB to begin pouring concrete. The Kakrapar site already hosts two 220 MWe PHWRs, which entered commercial operation in 1993 and 1995, respectively. The larger Kakrapar units 3 and 4 are due to start operating in 2012.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News