Tuesday, 27 March 2012

India has moved a step forward in critical nuclear technology with the Nuclear Fuel Complex indigenously developing and manufacturing steam generator tubes, an important component in nuclear power reactors

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: India has moved a step forward in critical nuclear technology with

the city-based Nuclear Fuel Complex indigenously developing andmanufacturing steam generator tubes, an important component in nuclear power reactors.

Only three companies in the world manufacture steam generator tubesand the Nuclear Fuel Complex has now joined the elite club. Thanks tothe NFC, India has indigenized the critical nuclear technology forwhich the country had hitherto depended on imports. The first batch ofsteam generator tubes were formally handed over here on Monday to theLarsen and Toubro, which has bagged the contract for two nuclear powerplants.


“The steam generator tubes form critical technology and foreigncompanies had either delayed the process of delivery at the eleventhhour or jacked up the price without prior notice. Now that NFC hasindigenized the technology, no one can hold India to ransom,” saidMadhukar Vinayak Kotwal, president (heavy engineering), L&T Limited.

According to NFC chief executive Dr RN Jayaraj, the steam generator(UNS NO8800 U) tubes are among the most critical components in steamgenerators for nuclear power plants. “Successful indigenizationreflects a deepening of India’s manufacturing capability in thisstrategic sector. NFC has now joined the very few companies globally,approved to supply these tubes,” he pointed out.

The tubes will be integrated into the eight steam generators beingmanufactured by L&T for Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited forthe Kakrapara and Rajasthan nuclear power plants.

Kotwal said in line with L&T’s strategy of promoting self-reliance,the company had opted to source the tubes from NFC rather than importfrom international suppliers. The U tubes have very stringenttechnical requirements covering chemical and mechanical properties,surface finish and ultrasonic testing. The process of “glass peening”– the final and most critical of operations carried out on the U-bendtubes was developed for the first time in India.

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