17 new nuclear reactors India plans to construct will be built under “fleet mode” contruction
To increase standardisation and bring modularity in building atomic power reactors, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited or NPCIL is going for fleet mode construction for future projects, Department of Atomic Energy Secretary KN Vyas said on Friday.
Speaking at the India Energy Forum’s Nuclear Conclave, Mr Vyas said 17 new reactors are now in the pipeline, with seven already under construction.
India plans to build 21 new nuclear power plants by 2030, the atomic energy agency had said last year, adding that work has been going on as per schedule.
“We are going in for fleet mode for construction, thereby reducing construction costs and speeding up construction time,” Mr Vyas, who is also the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said.
He said India is an old player in the nuclear energy sector with the first research reactor in Asia being commissioned in the country.
“Our learning curve was steep and we could ramp up the reactor construction to 22 reactors over the last few decades, the seventh largest fleet in the world,” Mr Vyas added.
Though the overall contribution to the electrical grid does appear insignificant, this has been due to the smaller capacity reactors built initially to gain experience in this complex technology, without international support, he noted.
Participating in the event, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said awareness needs to be created among the public about busting the myths associated with the use of nuclear energy.
He said nuclear energy is a source of energy to meet the rising energy demands of the country and it is an instrument of ‘ease of living’ in one’s day-to-day life.
Former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar said the access to the imported uranium can accelerate the nuclear programme’s size as well as large scale thorium deployment.
Referring to the waiver of the Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG to India in 2008, he said the nuclear programme now has much less constraints.
He talked about short-term actions on the part of Department of Atomic Energy or DAE, such as early movement on the Fast Breeder Reactor or FBR deployment and early deployment of indigenous Light Water Reactors.
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