Cabinet nod for 10 nuclear reactors for power generation

Cabinet fast-tracks India’s nuclear power programme gives approval to 10 projects

19 May, 2017

The Union cabinet today approved the setting up of 10 pressurised heavy water (PHW) reactors (PHWRs), giving a boost to indigenous nuclear power production. "It will help produce clean energy", power minister Piyush Goyal said after the cabinet decision was taken.

Goyal said the new PWHRs would generate 7,000 MW power.

According to a Cabinet release on Wednesday, the total installed capacity of the 10 PHWR plants would be 7000 MW, resulting in a significant augmentation of nuclear power generation capacity within the country.

These 10 atomic reactors, when completed, will add 7000MW of nuclear power capacity and generate manufacturing orders worth Rs 70,000 crore for the domestic industry while providing direct and indirect jobs to over 33,400 people.

The Government also approved a new policy under which fuel supply to the power sector will be either through the auction route or power purchase pact based on competitive bidding of tariffs.

India has installed nuclear capacity of 6,780 MW from 22 plants and plans to add another 6,700 MW by 2021-22 through projects now under construction.

The decision from Prime Minister Narenda Modi's government comes amid uncertainty in the global nuclear sector following the collapse of Toshiba-owned nuclear developer Westinghouse earlier this year, which had been in talks to develop six of its reactors in India.

He linked the move to efforts to ease the impact of climate change, saying it supported India's commitment to sustainable development and energy self-sufficiency.

The Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom is constructing India's Kudankulam nuclear power plant (NPP) as part of a deal signed between Moscow and New Delhi in 1998.

The project will adopt a "fleet mode", bringing "substantial economies of scale" and maximising efficiency, the Cabinet said. In 2014, India's nuclear power generation capacity was 4,780 MW. "It (the decision) underscores the mastery our nuclear scientists have attained over all aspects of indigenous PHWR technology".

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