Nuclear Power in India
(Updated 23 February 2015)
- India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power program and expects to have 14,600 MWe nuclear capacity on line by 2020. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
- 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.
The new energy parks are to be:
Kudankulam (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu: three more pairs of Russian VVER units, making 9200 MWe.
Jaitapur (JNPP) in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district: A €7 billion framework agreement with Areva was signed in December 2010 for the first two EPR reactors, along with 25 years supply of fuel.
Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) in the Fatehabad district of Haryana is a project with four indigenous 700 MWe PHWR
Chhaya-Mithi Virdi in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar distirct will host up to six Westinghouse AP1000 units built in three stages on the coast.
Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh’s northern coastal Srikakulam district will host six GE Hitachi ESBWR units.
In addition to the original five energy parks:
Chutka (CNPP) in inland Madhya Pradesh is also designated for two indigenous 700 MWe PHWR units. NPCIL has initiated pre-project activities here, and a public hearing at Chutka was in February 2014. A preliminary environmental assessment is being prepared.
Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan is a new site for 700 MWe PHWRs. Land acquisition, government approval and environmental assessment are in train.
Haripur in West Bengal: to host four or six further Russian VVER-1200 units, making 4800 MWe. NPCIL has initiated pre-project activities here, and groundbreaking was planned for 2012. However, strong local opposition led the West Bengal government to reject the proposal in August 2011, and change of site to Orissa state has been suggested.
At Markandi (Pati Sonapur) in Orissa there are plans for up to 6000 MWe of PWR capacity. Major industrial developments are planned in that area and Orissa was the first Indian state to privatise electricity generation and transmission.
Bhimpur in Madhya Pradesh has in-principle government approval for two 700 MWe PHWRs, according to the DAE annual report 2013-14.
The AEC has also mentioned possible new nuclear power plants in Bihar and Jharkhand.
In 2014 the Chinese president initiated discussions with his Indian counterpart about building nuclear power plants, raising he possibility that China could compete with France, Russia, Japan and the USA.