India’s Nuclear Power Capacity on its way to touch 10,000 MW

Unlike fossil fuel based power production, nuclear power is a clean-air technology that doesn’t emit any pollution and is friendly to the environment

India’s Nuclear Power Capacity on its way to touch 10,000 MW

                                                      Aerial view of NPCIL’s Kaiga Atomic Power Station

India’s Total Nuclear Power Capacity currently stands at 5780 MWe, with all 21 nuclear power reactors belonging to the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) under the Department of Atomic Energy.

Details of NPCIL’s Atomic Energy Plants in Operation :

· Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) Units-1&2 in Maharashtra: It has two Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) type reactors of 160 MWe each and two Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) reactors Unit-3&4 of 540 MWe each–with a combined capacity of 1400 MWe.

· Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) in Rajasthan: It has Units 1 to 6 with all being PHWR type reactors with a combined capacity of 1180 MWe.

· Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) in Tamil Nadu : two PHWR type units 1&2 of 220 MW each and combined capacity of 440 MWe.

· Kaiga Generating Station (KGS) in Karnataka : PHWR Units 1 to4 of 220 MWe each and combined capacity of 880 MWe.

· Kundankulam Atomic Power Project in Tamil Nadu (One Unit of 1000 MWe VVER PWR type reactor).

· Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS) in Uttar Pradesh ( Two PHWR units of 220 MWe each and combined capacity of 440 MWe).

· Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat (PHWR Units 1&2 of 220 MWe each and Combined capacity of 440 Mwe).

Besides, NPCIL also has a 10 mw wind power plant at the Kundakulam site in Tamil Nadu.

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NPCIL’s Units Under Construction :

· Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Unit-2 (1×1000 MW VVER).

· Kakrapar Atomic Power Project Unit-3&4 (2×700 MW PHWRs).

· Rajasthan Atomic Power Project Units-7&8 (2×700 MW PHWRs).

NPCIL’s reactor fleet comprises of two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and 18 Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) including one 100 MW PHWR at Rajasthan which is owned by DAE, Government of India.

Latest addition to the fleet is the unit-1 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, a 1000 MW VVER (Pressurised Water Reactor type), which has started its commercial operation on December 31, 2014. Currently NPCIL has five reactors under various stages of construction/commissioning totalling 3800 MW capacity

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is India’s largest single Nuclear Power Project (2 X 1000 MWe) is being implemented with Technical Co-operation with Russian Federation.

India’s long-term nuclear power programme is based on the potential to utilize the vast indigenous thorium resources for large-scale electricity generation for centuries.

India’s uranium resources can support a first-stage programme of over 10,000 MW based on Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) using natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as moderator and coolant.

The energy potential of natural uranium can be increased to about 3,00,000 MW in the second stage of the programme in the coming years through Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs), utilizing depleted uranium and plutonium obtained from the recycled spent fuel of the first stage along with thorium as blanket, to produce U-233.

With the deployment of thorium in the third-stage reactors, using U-233 as fuel, the energy potential for electricity generation is substantially large and sustainable for centuries. Indigenous industrial infrastructure for reactor programme is well developed. Special infrastructure for the production of fuel, heavy water, reactor control and instrumentation have been developed within the Department of Atomic Energy.

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Indian industry has gained valuable experience and reached a stage of maturity in manufacturing equipment, components and handling of mega package contracts for these reactors.