Hyderabad: N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh had written a letter to Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge urging to construct Rail Nuclear Power Plants in Andhra Pradesh. He also urged Railways to allocate 70% of the jobs to locals and land loosers in the Project. “Such a initiative will reduce the unemployment problem in a trouble prone state like Andhra Pradesh where regionalism and separatism have taken deep roots for creation of a separate State Telangana”, he wrote.
Indian Railways, in the recent past mooted a proposal to set up Rail Nuclear Power Plants in a bid to reduce energy bills, in conjunction with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. In a recent reply to a Parliamentary Question, MOSR Kotla said that “the present peak power requirement of Indian Railways is around 4000 Mega Watt (MW). Preliminary discussions have been held with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. Indian Railways held preliminary discussions with Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) for exploring the possibility of setting up of a nuclear power plant of 1400 MW capacity in joint venture with them.
A thermal power plant of 1000 MW capacity is already being set up in Joint Venture (JV) with NTPC or National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. Its first unit of 250 MW is likely to be commissioned by 2014 and subsequent units thereafter.
Indian Railways spend at least Rs.8000 crore on electricity even as its diesel costs stand at around Rs 15,000 crore.
With the commissioning of the plant, of which an MoU is expected to be signed as the talks conclude, the national transporter would be benefited as consumption rate is expected to go down from Rs 5.4 a unit of power to less than Rs 4.
Indian Railways is exploring the possibility of setting up of the plants in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, but however it has not been decided (where to set up the plant) yet.
With 4200 electrical locomotives and 23541 km long of electrified route (of the total 65,000 km long rail route), Indian Railways is one the largest in the world.
The move is expected to help Indian Railways cut down on carbon emissions as well. Nuke plants do not emit carbon-di-oxide.