India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) will allow Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to operate Tarapur 1 and 2 until June 2005, when the units will be shut down for modifications and safety upgrades. The 160MWe BWRs are expected to be offline for six months for the modifications. The reactors, commissioned in October 1969, are the oldest in India.

AERB, which plans to carry out a review in 2004 to assess progress, said that it would allow operation only after all upgrades have been implemented. At AERB’s direction, NPCIL has carried out detailed studies on operating experience, ageing management, design basis and safety analysis, probabilistic safety assessment, and seismic reevaluation of the reactors.

NPCIL has also submitted an action plan to improve the reactors’ safety to AERB.