The revenue shortfall for the Department of Atomic Energy in 2020-21 will affect the import of nuclear fuel for its power reactors and other important projects, its secretary has told a parliamentary panel.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change has recommended that the bare minimum funds as suggested by the DAE should be made available to the Department at revised stage so as to enable it to carry out its planned programmes/projects uninterrupted.
The DAE should also impress upon the Ministry of Finance and sensitise about its bare minimum requirement of additional funds in order to sustain its key programmes/projects, the panel said in its report tabled in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The panel was informed that the DAE had made a projected demand of Rs 40,259.05 crore for 2020-21 against which an amount of Rs 26,691.70 crore has been allocated, registering an overall reduction of Rs 13,567.35 crore i.e. a drastic 33.70 per cent less than the projected demand of the department.
“The committee was informed that approximately 41 per cent of this shortfall amount of Rs 13,567.35 crore is the revenue expenditure and 59 per cent affects the projected capital expenditure,” it said.
The secretary, who is also the chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, the top decision-making body on nuclear-related issues, said revenue expenditure shortfall of Rs 5,578.86 crore will fuel imports and arrears to DAE’s public sector undertaking Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (Rs 2,928.90 crore), foreign fuel importers — Kazakhstan’s M/s Kazatomprom (Rs 1,200 crore) and Canada’s M/s Cameco (Rs 399 crore) — and UCIL arrears (Rs 1,330 crore).
India imports nuclear fuel from Kazakhstan and Canada.
It will also affect the contribution to the ITER project, an international nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject, the panel was told.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), another PSU of the DAE, is presently operating 22 commercial nuclear power reactors with an installed capacity of 6780 MW.
The reactor fleet comprises two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and 18 Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) including one 100-MW PHWR at Rajasthan which is owned by the DAE and two 1000-MW VVER reactor KKNPS-1&2, both built with Russian technology. contribution
Currently, NPCIL has eight reactors under various stages of construction totalling 6200-MW capacity.
The panel was informed that the capital expenditure shortfall of Rs 7,988.49 crore will also affect Russian State credit (RSC) (Rs 2,379 crore), payments to the vendor of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant for units 5 and 6 (Rs 982 crore), the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor programme (Rs 1287 crore) which is being carried out on a fleet mode, BHAVINI, the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (Rs 306 crore), Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Kota (Rs 779 crore) and different R&D activities.
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Read More: Revenue shortfall will affect import of nuclear fuel: DAE to parliament