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India to build ten heavy water reactors to boost nuclear power

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These nuclear power plants will produce 7000 MW each using the indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) to cross 20,000 megawatt in the total nuclear power generation in the country by 2022.

New Delhi : In a policy decision to fast-track India’s domestic nuclear power programme, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved construction of ten more nuclear power plants of 700 megawatt each using the indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) to cross 20,000 megawatt in the total nuclear power generation in the country by 2022.

Power Minister Piyush Goyal, who briefed the media on the Cabinet decision, did not give proposed location of the new plants that will cost Rs 70,000 crore to the exchequer nor their deadline, but noted that India’s installed nuclear power capacity from 22 plants is 6780 MW while other plants under construction will produce another 6700 MW by 2021-22.


He hailed the decision as the government’s commitment to prioritise the use of clean power in India’s energy mix, as part of low-carbon growth strategy and to ensure long-term base load requirement for the nation’s industrialization.

He said it would be one of the flagship “Make in India” projects in the nuclear power sector, pushing the first of its kind project to install the new plants in fleet mode as a fully home-grown initiative.

“The project will help transform Indian nuclear industry by linking our goal of a strong nuclear power sector with our indigenous industrial capacities in high-end technologies,” Goyal said. Even addition of 7,000 MW of the nuclear power would be only a pittance as India’s total installed power generation capacity is today 3 lakh MW.

The minister said the ten reactors to be installed for the nuclear power will have a state-of-art technology meeting the highest standards of safety. He said the design and development of this project is a testament to the rapid advances achieved by India’s nuclear scientific community and industry. “It underscores the mastery our nuclear scientists have attained over all aspects of indigenous PHWR technology. India’s record of building and operating PHWR reactors over the last nearly forty years is globally acclaimed,” he added.