Coal shortage: Nuclear power repository comes in handy for TN

Though there are complaints of power cuts in some parts of Tamil Nadu, more or less there is no power shortage in the state as per available data

The state gets a total of 1152 MW from the first two units of the Kudankulam Nuclear Project

Power outages, factories shut, trains cancelled — the country is seeing an unprecedented crisis after a potent combination of sweltering summer, and acute coal shortages triggered blackouts from Jammu and Kashmir to Andhra Pradesh.

However, in Tamil Nadu, the situation is relatively better, thanks to its nuclear power availability.

The main reason for not facing a significant shortage of power is the availability of nuclear power for the state. While the state gets a total of 1152 MW from the first two units of the Kudankulam Nuclear Project, the state also gets its share from Kalpakkam (331MW) and Kaiga (224).

Thus in total, nuclear power alone contributes not fewer than 1707 MW to Tamil Nadu.

In the absence of coal for its own thermal units, Tangedco is also finding it difficult to get power from private thermal units as they also face coal shortages. Nuclear as well as power from naphtha, oil and gas have come in handy for Tangedco.

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On Thursday evening, the state hit a new demand high of 17370 MW and the Tangedco was able to meet the entire demand as per the data for consumption, which also hit a new high of 387.047 million units.

Unit 1 of Kudankulam has generated a total of 7,009 million units between April 2021 and March 2022 and in March alone 738 million units were generated. Similarly, Unit 2 has generated a total of 7,526 million units in the same period and in March alone it has generated 588 million units. At present Unit 1 is under annual maintenance and Unit 2 is generating power and Tamil Nadu is getting 900MW of nuclear power.

Though there are complaints of power cuts in some parts of Tamil Nadu, more or less there is no power shortage in the state as per available data.

Rajasthan has announced power cuts in urban areas due to a shortage of coal for its own thermal units which have a total capacity of 10110 MW. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh has announced 6-hour power cuts in rural areas.

Other states like Jharkhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh face power cuts, ranging from a few hours to up to 17 hours.

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Looking forward, Tamil Nadu will be placed at a better level due to the availability of wind power. The forecast shows that wind power generation will start from Sunday (May 1) thereby giving a big relief for Tangedco as not less than 4500MW to 5000MW will be available during peak wind power season.

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