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India to Add 7 New Nuclear Reactors, Increase Power Generation Capacity by 70% in 5 Years

New Delhi: India’s nuclear power generation capacity is set to rise by approximately 70% over the next five years, reaching 13.08 GW. This significant increase will be achieved through the installation of seven new nuclear reactors, as announced by Union Minister Jitendra Singh during a review meeting of the Department of Atomic Energy’s 100-day action plan. Currently, India operates 24 nuclear reactors.

During the meeting, Singh reviewed ongoing projects and issued directives for the development of upcoming units. The session was attended by Ajit Kumar Mohanty, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, along with senior officials from the department.

Capacity Building

The minister emphasized the importance of integrating and collaborating more effectively within the department to maximize potential through capacity building, knowledge sharing, and leveraging available resources and expertise. He stressed the need for developing indigenous technology to promote energy security.

“Developing indigenous technology and promoting energy security should be our priority,” Singh stated. He added that the government has facilitated joint ventures with public sector units and increased the budget through collaboration, adoption of next-generation technologies, and enhanced cooperation.

Singh also highlighted the importance of simplifying approval processes to facilitate research, promote scientific advancement, and improve citizens’ quality of life through the applications of nuclear technology.

Plans in Action

The minister noted that the department is developing a 220 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) using the Bharat Small Reactor (BSR) for captive nuclear power generation. He also mentioned ongoing efforts to develop the 220 MW Bharat Small Modular Reactor (BSMR), which aims to replace the Calandria with a pressure vessel, using light water-based reactors.

BHAVINI, a public sector undertaking, is progressing towards the initial fuel loading of the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor, with the first approach to criticality expected in the coming months. This reactor will be the first fast breeder reactor in India to produce more fuel than it consumes, Singh added.

In addition to energy security, Singh underscored the importance of focusing on health and food security, radiopharmaceuticals, nuclear medicine, agriculture, and food preservation. He noted that advancements in radiation technology would lead to economic and societal benefits for ordinary citizens, promoting ease of living and fostering research in basic, applied, and translational sciences using subatomic particles.

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