Nuclear power capacity to treble by 2031: Govt : The Tribune India

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 14th

Even if the Indian-American nuclear pact of 2005 does not yet result in any new projects with foreign aid, the government of the Union is working on an indigenous nuclear power program with six pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR) under construction and another ten approved.

One of these standard 700 MW PHWRs – the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) in Gujarat – is scheduled to go into operation this year.

The Ministry of Atomic Energy (DAE) informed the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Science that it had an ambitious plan to increase the share of nuclear power generation in the national pie.

“The currently installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW is expected to reach 22,480 MW by 2031, when the projects under construction are completed,” said the DAE, signaling a tripling of the installed capacity.

The committee had previously asked the government to power domestic heavy water reactors, finding that the Indo-American pact had not yet resulted in any new commercial projects, with the exception of the Kudankulum project in Tamil Nadu.

“It believes that it would be better for the DAE to introduce a standardized 700 MW heavy water reactor and aggressively use that design for their expansion plan,” the panel told the government. Challenges in negotiating new projects with foreign cooperation were also cited.

In addition to the six PHWR, the government has approved ten more to be set up in fleet mode. Pre-project activities are ongoing in relation to these 10 PHWR.

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