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Nuclear Power Generation in India: Updates

The Jaitapur nuclear power project (located in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra) is one of the many nuclear power projects coming up in India after the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Agreement became operational in October 2008. India has signed similar agreements with France and Russia.

It is proposed to construct six 1,650mw European Pressurised Reactors designed and developed by Areva of France, thus totaling 9,900mw. The plant is expected to produce 10,000 mw on completion in 15 years, at an estimated cost of  Rs70,000-100,000 crore.

The project has been hobbled due to many environmental issues raised by activists protesting against nuclear power. Radiation effect of the plant too has been brought forth, besides waste disposal system and future of fisheries in the coastal region.

Nuclear Power Generation in India Nuclear Capacity
  Million kwh % yoy growth MW % yoy growth
Mar-01 16,928 32.1 2,860 6.72
Mar-02 19,278 13.9 2,720 -4.90
Mar-03 19,235 -0.2 2,720 NA
Mar-04 17,737 -7.8 2,720 NA
Mar-05 16,845 -5.0 2,720 NA
Mar-06 17,239 2.3 3,310 21.69
Mar-07 18,607 7.9 3,900 17.82
Mar-08 16,777 -9.8 4,120 5.64
Mar-09 14,713 -12.3 4,120 0.00
Mar-10 18,636 26.7 4,340 5.34
Apr-Sep 10 10,854 23.1 4,560 10.7

Source: CEA

It must be noted that completion of NPCIL’s nuclear plants have been derailed on account of lack of fuel supply.

These projects include Kudankulam Atomic Power Plant (in Tamil Nadu) and Kaiga power plant (in Karnataka). The scheduled completion of the Kudankulam plant was December 2007 for the 1st unit and December 2008 for unit 2. Over 90% of both these projects have been completed for the past two years. However, commercial production is awaited.

Same is the case with the Kaiga Atomic Power Project, whose 4th unit has been awaiting fuel loading since February 2008.

With regards to fuel availability, NPCIL states in its annual report for 2010-11 that “opening up of international civil nuclear cooperation has yielded results and fuel supplies have started flowing from overseas. Sustained efforts of various departments of the department of atomic energy have resulted in improved supply of domestic natural uranium fuel for use in reactors, which are out-side IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards.”

“Some augmentation of supply from existing uranium mines and mills has been achieved this year. Work on new mine and mill at Tummallapalle, Andhra Pradesh, is in full swing and is expected to commence production soon.”

India has drawn up an ambitious plan to reach a nuclear power capacity of 63,000mw in 2032 by setting up 16 indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR). With its international nuclear isolation coming to an end, the target seems achievable if the current stupor in the sector can be overcome.

For basics of nuclear power in India: Click here

World Nuclear Association explains the nuclear power sector in India exhaustively.

Spot the location of Nuclear Power Plants in India at http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/india/nuclearpowerplants.htm

Categories: Power
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