Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Nuclear Country Notes
At the end of 2005, India had 15 reactor units in operation, with an aggregate net generating capacity of 3 040 MWe. Thirteen were PHWRs, the other two being of the BWR type: most were relatively small units, with individual capacities up to 202 MWe; the exception is Tarapur-4, with a net capacity of 490 MWe. Output from India's nuclear plants represented 2.8% of total electricity generation in 2005. Tarapur-3, a second 490 MWe PHWR, commenced commercial operation in August 2006.
Four 202 MWe PHWRs were under construction at end-2006: Kaiga-3 and -4 and Rajasthan-5 and -6; as well as two 917 MWe WWERs (Kudankulam 1 and 2) and a 470 MWe fast breeder reactor (PFBR). In all, these seven units will add over 3 000 MWe to India's nuclear generating capacity. Kaiga-3 was connected to the grid in April 2007, Kaiga-4 is scheduled to enter operation by the end of 2007.
Cabinet approval was granted in September 2005 for the construction of eight new reactors at four sites: two 600 MWe heavy water reactors at Kakrapar (Gujarat state); two 700 MWe heavy water reactors at Rawatbhata (Rajasthan); two 1 000 MWe light water reactors at Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu) and two more light water reactors at Jaitapur (Maharashta).
In April 2006, the Indian President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, proposed that the Government should aim to raise the republic's nuclear generating capacity from the presently planned 2020 level of 24 000 MWe to 50 000 MWe by 2030.
Dr. Kalam also expressed his belief in the need for India to develop thorium-fuelled reactors. In this connection, it was reported in January 2007 that construction of India's first advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR), using a thorium fuel cycle, would begin during the year, subject to a pre-licensing review currently being undertaken by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The location of the proposed 300 MWe AHWR has not yet been announced. India has substantial reserves of thorium, which are much larger than its known uranium resources.
The state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) was reported in August 2006 to be bringing forward plans for a large (2 000 MWe) NPP, with its completion now envisaged for 2013-2014 rather than the previously-scheduled 2017.