Seeking to give a fresh impetus to India’s domestic nuclear power production, the Union cabinet today cleared a proposal to indigenously build 10 atomic reactors, the largest ever approval granted for such facilities in one go. Once completed, the 10 reactors of 700 MW each will give much-needed fillip to the domestic nuclear industry. The Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) will be developed by the Department of Atomic Energy.
“A total of 7000 MW capacity will be added. It will help produce clean energy,” Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said. India currently has installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6700 MW of nuclear power is expected to be added by 2021-22 when currently under-construction projects go onstream in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The 10 reactors would be built at Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Gorakhpur (Haryana).
“As the government marks three years of its nation and people-centric governance, in a first of its kind project for India’s nuclear power sector, the 10 new units will come up in a fleet mode as a fully homegrown initiative. It would be one of the flagships Make in India projects in this sector,” a government statement said. With likely manufacturing orders of close to Rs 70,000 crore to the domestic companies, the project is expected to help transform Indian nuclear industry and likely generate more than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment.
“The Cabinet’s decision reflects 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 industrialisation. “It also supports India’s commitment to sustainable development, energy self-sufficiency, and bolsters global efforts to combat climate change.”