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Nuclear Power Surge: India Targets 100 GW By 2047

India plans to ramp up nuclear power production to 100 GW by 2047, a significant rise from the current level of over 7,500 MW, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman A K Mohanty said on Wednesday.

Mohanty was addressing the audience during the unveiling of a report titled ‘Synchronising Energy Transitions Towards Possible Net Zero for India: Affordable and Clean Energy for All’, largely funded by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the government of India.

The Department of Atomic Energy (DEA) is currently preparing a vision document for ‘Amrit Kaal’ which envisages reaching a nuclear capacity of about 100 GW by 2047, added Mohanty.

He stated that breeder reactors would add 3 GW to the nuclear power capacity, with an additional 17.6 GW generated by light water reactors through international collaboration. The bulk of the nuclear power, approximately 40-45 GW, would be generated by pressurized heavy water reactors (PWHR).

The PHWRs, which use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as moderator, have emerged as the mainstay of India’s nuclear power programme.

Currently, nuclear power makes up only 1.6 per cent of India’s energy mix. Further, the country already has a plan to increase its present installed nuclear power capacity of 7,480 MW to 22,480 MW by 2031-2032 in a progressive manner.

As part of this plan, the government has approved the construction of ten Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors, each with a capacity of 700 MW, in fleet mode. Under the fleet mode, a nuclear power plant is expected to be built over a period of five years from the first pour of concrete.

The ten reactors will come up at four locations — two each at Gorakhpur in Haryana, Chutka in Madhya Pradesh, and Kaiga in Karnataka while the Mahi Banswara nuclear plant in Rajasthan will get four reactors.

Additionally, the government has sanctioned the creation of the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) to implement the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act.

Amendments to the Atomic Energy Act have also been approved to enable Joint Ventures of Public Sector Companies to set up nuclear power projects, and agreements with foreign countries for nuclear power cooperation, including the supply of fuel, have been entered into.

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