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Govt sanctioned 12 nuclear reactors of 9,000 MW capacity since 2016

Presently, two public sector companies of the Department of Atomic Energy - Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) are involved in nuclear power generation

Govt sanctioned 12 nuclear reactors of 9,000 MW capacity since 2016

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

In the last four years, the Union Government has given administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 12 nuclear power reactors of 9,000 megawatt (MW) capacity, the government has said. These include ten indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and two Light Water Reactors (LWRs).

In a written reply in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region and Atomic Energy and Space, said two 700 MW PHWRs will come up at Chutka in Madhya Pradesh, two in Kaiga in Karnataka, four units in Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan, and two more at Gorakhpur GHAVP in Haryana. Two new 1,000 MW LWRs will be added to the four units at Kudankulam, in co-operation with Russian Federation, the reply further read.

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Presently, two public sector companies of the Department of Atomic Energy - Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) are involved in nuclear power generation, Singh informed. There is no proposal under consideration at present to permit non-government players in the area of nuclear power generation, he added. However, the private sector participates in the nuclear power sector by providing core reactor components, equipment, materials and services in areas that include construction, fabrication and erection of equipment, piping, electrical, instrumentation, consultancy, auxiliary and logistical services.

There are presently 22 reactors with a capacity of 6,780 MW in operation in the country, Singh told Lok Sabha adding that nine reactors, with a total capacity of 6,700 MW are presently under construction. The capital investment for the nuclear power projects is being funded with a debt to equity ratio of 70:30. The equity part is funded from internal resources of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and government budgetary support.

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The present consolidated FDI policy of government puts atomic energy in the list of prohibited sectors. However, there is no restriction on FDI in the nuclear industry for manufacturing of equipment and providing other supplies for nuclear power plants and related other facilities, Singh said.

Government of India had amended the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 in 2015 to enable the licensing of NPCIL's joint ventures for setting up nuclear power projects. To boost domestic investment, joint ventures have been formed by NPCIL with public sector majors National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), and National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO).

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