Nuclear power in India

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  • Nuclear power is the fourth-largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources of electricity. India has 21 nuclear reactors in operation in 7 nuclear power plants, having an installed capacity of 5780 MW and producing a total of 30,292.91 GWh of electricity while 6 more reactors are under construction and are expected to generate an additional 4,300 MW.
  • The governmemt has reiterated its stand to expand civil nuclear energy sector of India by increasing the number of  nuclear power plants in the country and plans to start work on 19 new projects in the XII five year plan period.
  • The plants are planned to be set in - Haryana, Karnataka,Andhra Pradesh,,Gujarat,Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan,Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

                      

  • Because India is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to its weapons program, it was for 34 years largely excluded from trade in nuclear plant or materials, which has hampered its development of civil nuclear energy until 2009. Due to earlier trade bans and lack of indigenous uranium, India has uniquely been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium.
  • Since 2010, a fundamental incompatibility between India’s civil liability law and international conventions limits foreign technology provision. India has a vision of becoming a world leader in nuclear technology due to its expertise in fast reactors and thorium fuel cycle.
  • India’s Nuclear Power deal with USA have paved the way for India to be again part of the civilian nuclear club which would allow import of uranium fuel and nuclear technology. It would also allow Nuclear Equipment Producers like Toshiba, Areva and GE to set up Nuclear Power Plants in India.
  • The Indian Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) is the main policy body. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) is responsible for design, construction,commissioning and operation of thermal nuclear power plants
  • India plans to reach a nuclear power capacity of 63,000 MW in 2032 but, after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, "populations around proposed Indian NPP sites have launched protests, raising questions about atomic energy as a clean and safe alternative to fossil fuels.
  • There have been mass protests against the French-backed 9900 MW Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Maharashtra and the Russian-backed 2000 MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu

Governing bodies of Nuclear Power in India

 

Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) :-

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is a department directly under the Prime Minister of India with headquarters in Mumbai. DAE has been engaged in the development of nuclear power technology, applications of radiation technologies in the fields of agriculture, medicine, industry and basic research. DAE comprises five research centers, three industrial organisations, five public sector undertakings and three service organisations. 

Indian Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) :-

The Atomic Energy Commission was set up in August 1948 to look after atomic energy activities in the country. The Atomic Energy Commission is the governing body of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). The functions of the Atomic Energy Commission are:

  •  To organise research in atomic scientists in the country
  •  To train, atomic scientists in the country
  •  To promote nuclear research in commission's own laboratories as well as in India
  •  To undertake prospecting of atomic minerals in India and to extract such minerals for use on industrial scale

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL):-

  • Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is a Public Sector Enterprise under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). It is wholly owned by the Central Government and is responsible for the generation of nuclear power for electricity.
  • NPCIL was the sole body responsible for constructing and operating India's commercial nuclear power plants till setting up of BHAVINI ( Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam ) in October 2003.

Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (BHAVINI)

  • The Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (BHAVINI) is a government-owned corporation of India established in 2004 in Chennai. BHAVINI come under the under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). 
  • It is responsible for the construction, commissioning and operation of all Stage II fast breeder reactors envisaged as part of the country’s three stage nuclear power programme
  • Once the first fast breeder reactor, called Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) goes into commercial power production, BHAVINI will be the second power utility in India after Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), to use nuclear fuel sources to generate power

Currently we have  twenty-one nuclear power reactors with  a total install capacity of 5,780 MW (3.5% of total installed base). The nuclear power plants are located mostly in southern and western parts of the country.Tarapur is India’s oldest facility and has 1200 MW capacity.Kota in Rajastan has India’s second largest nuclear power capacity at 1080 MW.

                     

Nuclear Power Plants in India
SI.No Nuclear PowerPlant    Location  State   Capacity
1. Narora Atomic Power Station Narora Uttar Pradesh 440  MW
2. Rajasthan Atomic Power Station Rawatbhata Rajasthan 1180  MW
3. Tarapur Atomic Power Station Tarapur Maharashtra 1400  MW
4. Kakrapar Atomic Power Station     Kakrapar Gujarat     440  MW
5. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Kudankulam Tamilnadu 1000 MW
6. Madras Atomic Power Station Kalpakkam Tamilnadu 220 MW
7. Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant Kaiga Karnataka 880  MW
8. Madras Atomic Power Station Kalpakkam Tamil Nadu 220  MW

New Sites for Nuclear Power Plants:-

  1. Haripur,West Bengal
  2. Saurashtra,Gujarat
  3. Pati Sonapur,Orissa
  4. Jaitapur,Maharashtra
  5.  Kudankulam,Tamil Nadu
  6.  Kumaharia,Haryana
  7.  Pulivendula,Andhra Pradesh

Nuclear deals signed with major nuclear suppliers

  • Recently India has entered into  a commercial contract with Canada for the supply of 3,000 tonnes of uranium over five years. This will help achieve continuous and sustained power generation and higher plant load factor of the nuclear power plants in the country. 
  • Canada is the third country to supply uranium to India after Russia and Kazakhstan.The supplies will be under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards. India also signed a civil nuclear deal with Australia in September last year to sell uranium
  • NPCIL and Russian supplier AtomStroyExport have signed a deal for the initial supply of two VVER 1,000 reactors for the Kudankulam project.
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