Pre-construction progress at Gorakhpur

08 February 2018

India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has approved the start of excavation work at Gorakhpur for the construction of two 700 MWe pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs). Construction will start on the first unit in 2019, Minister of State Jitendra Singh told the Indian parliament yesterday.

In a written response to questions, Singh said the AERB had "recently" granted clearance for excavation at Gorakhpur, in Haryana, where site preparation work is already under way. First concrete is expected to be poured for unit 1 in 2019, he said. This will mark the formal start of construction. Unit 1 is expected to enter commercial operation five and a half years after construction begins, with unit 2 following a year later.

The government has allocated INR 205.9 billion ($3.2 billion) for Gorakhpur units 1 and 2. Cumulative capital expenditure up to December 2017 was INR 10.31 billion, Singh said.

The 700 MWe Indian-designed PHWR units comprise the first phase of the Gorakhpur project, with a further two units planned for construction in the second phase. Gorakhpur 1 and 2 are among ten ten PHWRs that India intends to build by 2031. Two units are planned at Chutka in Madhya Pradesh, four at Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan, and two at the existing Kaiga site in Karnataka. Two further fast breeder reactors are planned for construction at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu, where a prototype is already under construction.

A total of four 700 MWe PHWRs are currently under construction at the Kakrapar and Rajasthan nuclear power plants. A Russian-designed AES-92 VVER-1000 pressurised water reactor is under construction at Kudankulam unit 3, with work expected to start on another VVER, Kudankulam 4, later this year. Meanwhile, the Economic Times this week reported Westinghouse is holding talks with the government on plans to build up to six AP1000 reactors in Andhra Pradesh.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News