Nuclear Power Plants in India – UPSC Prelims

Nuclear Power Plants in India:
  • Nuclear energy is an important component of the country’s energy mix and is being pursued along with other sources of energy in an optimal manner.
  • It is a clean, environment friendly base load source of power available 24X7.
  • It also has huge potential which can ensure long term energy security of the country in a sustainable manner.
  • There are presently 22 reactors with a total capacity of 6780 MW in operation and one reactor, KAPP-3 (700 MW) was connected to the grid in January 2021.
  • The Government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 12 nuclear power reactors – 10 indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) to be set up in fleet mode & 2 units of Light Water Reactors (LWRs) to be set up in cooperation with Russian Federation.
  • On progressive completion of the projects under construction and accorded sanction, the nuclear capacity is expected to reach 22480 MW by 2031.
  • The Government has also accorded ‘In-Principle’ approval for five new sites for locating nuclear power plants in future.
  • In India, some nuclear reactors are kept under “IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards”.
  • The nuclear facilities are kept under IAEA)safeguards if the source of Uranium, which is the fissile material for a nuclear reactor, is from outside the territory of India or if the new reactor plants are established with foreign collaboration.
  • This is to ensure that imported uranium was not diverted for military use and to assure that the imported uranium is used to generate nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

Previous Year Questions:
In India, why are some nuclear reactors kept under “IAEA safeguards” while others are not? (2020)
(a) Some use uranium and others use thorium
(b) Some use imported uranium and others use domestic supplies
(c) Some are operated by foreign enterprises and others are operated by domestic enterprises
(d) Some are State-owned and others are privately owned
Ans: (b)