Approval of NPCIL and AREVA deal
During the year, India finalised an administrative arrangement with the US on monitoring, inspection and other safeguards of nuclear items sourced from Russian country. Indian atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and AREVA, France signed a pre-engineering agreement.

Approval of around Rs 1,600 crore project

To meet the concerns of nuclear liability the Indian Insurance Pool with a corpus of Rs 1,600 crore (over USD 225 million) was set up. However, the policy covering the public liability risks is yet to be issued as NPCIL wants some changes in its conditions.

Shutting down of first NPCIL unit
The year also saw the shutting down of the first 1,000 MW unit of NPCIL at Kudankulam in Tirunelvelli district for refueling and maintenance; and the start of sodium loading in the upcoming 500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, around 70 km from here.

Projects to be relocated in Tamil Nadu
In January, the first unit at Kudankulam will restart generation. The second 1,000 MW unit at Kudankulam and the PFBR are expected to go critical - beginning of the fission process - for the first time.

Setting up of third and fourth unit of NPCIL

Atomic Energy Commission chairman Sekhar Basu said India will be signing the remaining agreements with Russia for the third and fourth units at Kudankulam, estimated to cost around Rs.40,000 crore.

Construction of  heavy water reactors

Construction of four India-designed 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat and the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) are progressing at a quick pace and the first one is expected to go on stream b end 2016 or early 2017.

Uranium Mining
On uranium mining, Basu said no new facility was opened in 2015 while improved productivity is expected at Tummalapalle mine in Andhra Pradesh with alkali leaching technology. A large underground mine and process plant at Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh has been constructed. In addition, a new underground mine and plant at Gogi in Karnataka, anopen pit mine at Kylleng Pyndensohiong Mawathabah (KPM) in Meghalaya, one open pit and three underground mines at Lambapur in Andhra Pradesh, and one uranium mining project in Sikar district of Rajasthan are in different stages of implementation.

Agreement with CAMECO
During the year, an agreement was signed with CAMECO of Canada for 3,000 tonnes of uranium ore concerntrate (UOC) during 2015-20. A contract was also signed with Kazatomprom of Kazakhstan for 5,000 tonnes of UOC.

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