Government to increase nuclear power capacity by 2031-32

The Indian government is poised to initiate the steps towards increasing nuclear power capacity from 7480MW to 22480MW by 2031-32. 23 nuclear power reactors are installed right now.

Government to increase nuclear power capacity by 2031-32

The total electricity generated from nuclear power plants in the current year 2023-24 is about 32017 Million Units against the anticipated MoU target of 52340 Million Units for the year. Interestingly, the total electricity generated from nuclear power plants during the last ten years [2013-14 to 2022-23] was about t 411 BUs averting the release of about 353 million tons of CO2 equivalent to the environment.

As per government official data, the construction and commission of ten reactors totalling 8000MW is underway in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh. In addition to this, the pre-project activities in respect to the ten reactors , sanctioned by the governing authority has been initiated.

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The project is scheduled to completed by 2031-32. The Government has also accorded in principle approval to set up 6 into 1208 MW nuclear power plant in cooperation with the USA at Kovvada in Srikakulam district in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Nuclear Power Corporations of India Limited has taken significant steps to ensure completion of plant shutdown of operating reactors as per the schedule while also avoiding any of unplanned shutdown to meet the target.

Presently, India has 22 nuclear power reactors operating in 7 states, with an installed capacity of 6780 MW electric [MWe]. 18 reactors are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors and 4 are Light Water Reactors. In addition , there are 8 reactors [ including 500 MW PFBR being implemented by BHAVINI ] totaling to 6000 MW under construction at various stages.

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The non-indigenous 2 unit nuclear power sector is also going to be set up in cooperation with the Russian Federation.

Nuclear power sector is termed to be the fifth-largest source of electricity in India after coal, gas, hydroelectricity and wind power. It produced a total of 43 TWh in 2020-21, contributing 3.11 percent of total power generation in India. Meanwhile it has suffered from low capacity factor with only 74 percent of availaibility factor in 2019 to 2021 year growth run. 

 India is progressively working towards three stage nuclear power programme based on a prototype for an atomic reactor using thorium and low-riched uranium as India is extensively making advances in the field of thorium based fuels.

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