Seeking to ramp up India's domestic nuclear power production, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to indigenously build 10 atomic reactors, the largest ever approval granted for such facilities in one go.
Once completed, the 10 reactors of 700 MW each will give much needed fillip to the domestic nuclear industry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the decision would 'transform' the domestic nuclear industry.
"A vital decision of the Cabinet that pertains to transformation of the domestic nuclear industry," he tweeted.
The Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) will have indigenous but latest technology.
"A total of 7000 MW capacity will be added. It will help produce clean energy," Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The development of nuclear power plants will create over 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment with likely manufacturing orders of close to Rs 70,000 crore to the domestic companies.
"The Cabinet's decision reflects the government's commitment to prioritise the use of clean power in India's energy mix as part of low-carbon growth strategy and to ensure long-term base load requirement for the nation's industrialisation. It also supports India's commitment to sustainable development, energy self-sufficiency, and bolsters global efforts to combat climate change."
India currently has installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants.
Another 6700 MW of nuclear power is expected to be added by 2021-22 when currently under-construction projects go on-stream in Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.
The total share of nuclear power in the country currently stands at a measly 3.5 per cent.
The 10 reactors would be built at Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Kaiga (Karnataka) and Gorakhpur (Haryana).