CHENNAI: Is India looking at building light water reactors (LWRs) under ‘Make in India’ programme? According to Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, India is looking at possibilities of localisation of LWR systems manufacturing within the framework of the programme.
It is learnt that during the international conference organised by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), under the aegis of Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) in Mumbai earlier this month, discussions were held over future utilisation of LWRs in India to supplement existing plans of construction of heavy water pressurised reactors.
Rosatom said participants at the event discussed issues and possibilities of localisation of LWR systems manufacturing within the framework of the “Make in India” program. It said Business to Business meetings were held.
Discussions were also held on further development of cooperation between Russia and India in the LWRs and specific features of their licensing and safety requirements, as well as Rosatom presented key VVER-1200 safety systems.
The discussions were also held on small modular reactors development.
The event was attended by heads and management of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, BARC, HBNI and other organisations from India and other countries, that are involved in design, building and operations of LWRs.
Rosatom is technical consultant and main equipment supplier for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu. Sources in DAE confirmed that India is looking at migrating to LWRs.
Currently, India is manufacturing Pressurised Heavy Water reactor (PWHR). Only Kudankulam has imported LWRs reactors, for which India is dependent on Russia for equipment.
A former chairman and managing director of Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), P Chellapandi said KN Vyas, chairman of Atomic Energy Commission has vast experience in design and development of LWR with a long vision of indigenous manufacturing capacity and capability in the country.
He said most of LWR components can be manufactured in an economic way by Indian companies.
“More than 20 companies have the capacity to manufacture LWR components based on past experience,” he said.