Saturday January 20, 2018
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NPCIL starts generating power at Kundankulam

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Chennai: Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) started generating power in Tamil Nadu at Kundankulam from 1,000 Mw on Saturday.

“The first unit started feeding power on Saturday morning at 7.12 am. The power generation now is 300 Mw,” R S Sundar, station director said.

“We will have a brief interruption according to our previous plan as part of a check. Then again we will reconnect,” Sundar said.

The unit, under annual maintenance and shut for nearly seven months, restarted fission on January 21.

NPCIL is setting up two 1,000-Mw atomic power plants at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli, district, around 650 km from here, at an outlay of over Rs 17,000 crore.

The first unit attained criticality, which is the beginning of the fission process, in July 2013.

Subsequently, it was connected to the southern grid in October 2013.

However, commercial power generation began only on December 31, 2014.

The unit also experienced breakdowns after commercial production started.

The unit was shut down in June 2015 for 60 days, for refuelling and annual maintenance in June 2015.

Operating at full capacity, the unit supplies power to Tamil Nadu(562.5 Mw), Puducherry (33.5 Mw), Kerala (133 Mw), Karnataka (221 Mw) and Andhra Pradesh (50 Mw).

The NPCIL skipped several deadlines in restarting the first unit and finally on January 21 the reactor restarted the fission process.

According to the official position, the second 1,000-Mw unit at Kudankulam is expected to go critical, or start the fission process, for the first time sometime this year.

However, sources said that the unit may go critical early next year.

The second unit has to get some parts from Russia as some of its components have been used in the first unit so that the latter could start operating fast. The fuel has to be loaded into the second reactor.

A senior official in the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) recently said that the results of the second unit’s commissioning and inspection reports are being studied.

“After the reports are studied AERB might lay down some conditions which have to be completed before NPCIL applies for the permission to load the fuel,” he had said.(IANS)

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.