Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS)

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Last Updated: September 1, 2003
Other Name: N/A
Location: Tarapur, Maharashtra, India
Subordinate To: Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
Size: Two Boiling Water Reactors (BWR), 160MWe each
Facility Status: Operational

The Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) is located near Boiser in the Thane District of Maharashtra. Begun as India's first atomic power project, the Indian Government decided to utilize boiling water reactors (BWRs) for the plant. On 8 May 1964, a contract between the governments of India and the United States was signed for the construction of TAPS. One hundred and twenty Americans were involved in the project and the BWRs were supplied by the US company General Electric. Construction began in October 1964, and both the Unit-1 and Unit-2 BWRs commenced commercial operations on 28 October 1969. Although the United States agreed to supply enriched uranium to TAPS for 30 years, this supply was cut off after the peaceful nuclear explosion at Pokhran in 1974. Since this time France, China, and Russia have all supplied uranium fuel to TAPS. Imported fuel bound for this facility is currently under IAEA safeguards.

As of 28 February 2003, TAPS had generated 62,696 million units (MUs) of energy since it began commercial operations. While the Unit-1 BWR accounted for 31,366 MUs, Unit-2 generated 31,330 MUs. Although both BWRs are over thirty years old, NPCIL Chairman V.K. Chaturvedi claims the reactors can operate for another 30 years. This may be due to the BWRs' 300 or so modifications as of October 2001. Improvements up to this time included new pumps and piping in addition to safety upgrades to reach international standards. The Government of India is also constructing two new pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at TAPS that will each field a 540MWe capacity. TAPS Unit-4 PHWR is expected to be commissioned in October 2005 and Unit-3 should follow in July 2006. Construction on the Unit-4 reactor began earlier than Unit-3 due to site layout considerations.

[1] DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 1965-1966," pp. 55-56.
[2] DAE (Government of India), "Annual Report 2001-2002," Executive Summary, www.dae.gov.in.
[3] John Pike, "Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS)," 12 August 2002, Globalsecurity.org.
[4] Navtej Sarna, "Press Statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry on import of fuel for Tarapur Atomic Power Station," Embassy of India (Washington, DC), 20 February 2001, www.indianembassy.org.
[5] "Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS)," Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), www.npcil.org.
[6] T.S. Subramanian, "TAPS at thirty," Frontline Online Edition, www.flonnet.com.
[7] "Work on Tarapur N-reactor begins," Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), 11 March 2000, www.npcil.org.

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