India approves Kovvada capacity increase

16 December 2016

The Indian government has approved an increase in capacity of the proposed Kovvada nuclear power plant and is conducting a new environmental impact assessment for the project, atomic energy minister Jitendra Singh confirmed yesterday.

In a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha - India's upper house - Singh said the government had revised its "in principle" approval of the site from six units of 1000 MWe capacity each to six units of 1208 MWe capacity. He said "fresh" environmental impact assessment studies were being carried out accordingly, with a public hearing forming part of the process of obtaining environmental clearance.

Kovvada, in Andhra Pradesh, had previously been earmarked for construction of GE-Hitachi ESBWR reactors, but India's Department of Atomic Energy said in June it would not support building any reactor design that did not have a reference plant. No ESBWR has yet been built, but AP1000s are under construction in China and the USA, with the first units - China's Sanmen 1 and Haiyang 1 - nearing commissioning.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd then allocated the Kovvada site for construction of six Westinghouse AP1000 reactors. The Indian and US governments have called for continued engagement between Westinghouse and NPCIL towards finalising the contractual arrangements for the six Kovvada units by June 2017.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News