Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors

  • It use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as both moderator and coolant.
  • India’s first PHWR was constructed at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan in technical cooperation with the Atomic Energy Canada Ltd (AECL).
  • However, the Canada’s support was immediately withdrawn after India’s first nuclear experiment at Pokhran in 1974.
  • India’s first nuclear power plant with a different design was built at Tarapur in Maharashtra. 
  • PHWR units are in operation in Rawatbhata, Kaiga, Kakrapar, Kalpakkam and Narora.
  • Recently, it was announced that the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is ready to sell Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors of 220 MWe or 540 MWe capacity to other countries.
  • Why in news? Government has approved consturction of 10 PHWRs.

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