CHENNAI: The Department of Atomic Energy is planning to triple its nuclear power production capacity by 2022 by adding several 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactors, according to R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the government of India.
The present capacity is 5780 MW and the aim is to reach 63,000 MW by 2032 through a mix of fast-breeder reactors and light-water reactors along with foreign technical cooperation, Chidambaram said.
The country’s three-stage nuclear programme is based on closed nuclear fuel cycle and thorium utilisation as it has the largest thorium deposits. “Fast reactors and related fuel cycles will be important for the long- term sustainability of nuclear power,” Chidambaram said. Talking about the Fukushima nuclear tragedy, Chidambaram said that it did not have much impact on the nuclear industry. “Currently, 73 new reactors are under construction,” he said.China is building 28 new reactors, while Pakistan is building two. He said India has taken up design of an indigenous 900 MW pressurised water reactor the construction of which is expected to be started within five years.