NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet gave a major push to nuclear power generation in the country by clearing a proposal to build 10 indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) on Wednesday. The reactors would be developed by the Department of Atomic Energy across different parts of the country and each unit would generate 700 MW of power.
“The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a historic decision to decrease dependency on coal-based power. The total installed capacity of these projects would be 7,000 MW,” said Union Minister of Power Piyush Goyal. India currently has installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW from 22 plants. Another 6,700 MW of nuclear power is expected to be added by 2021-22 when currently under-construction projects become functional in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The new plants would meet the ‘highest’ standard of safety, Goyal said while addressing the media. “It would also give a major boost to the domestic industry and is in line with our ‘Make in India’ drive.”
According to the minister, the decision to set up 10 new units with indigenous PWHR would generate business worth `70,000 crore for domestic manufacturers of various parts and equipments. “The decision would also lead to creation of jobs for 33,400 people. It would also give a major incentive to the scientific community,” he added. The reactors would be built at Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Gorakhpur (Haryana).
“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,” the minister added.
The Cabinet also approved a proposal to improve transparency in supply of coal to power plants. A new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through reverse auction received approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. The new policy for power plants will help producers ensure fuel supplies in an organised manner. According to sources, the new policy will address this concern and put in place a proper mechanism for sourcing of the dry fuel.
(With agency inputs)