India opts for 1200MWe PWRs

17 February 2017

The Indian government has decided that all future foreign nuclear plants will have a capacity of at least 1200MWe,  Press Trust of India reported on 12 February.  "We already have foreign power plants with a capacity of 1000MWe (Kudankulam), a senior government official said….  If we are installing them, then we might as well have reactors that can generate more power and make optimum use of it." 

The  VVER reactors built with the assistance of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom at Kudankulam (pressurised water reactors) each have a capacity of 1000MWe. The first two units are already in operation, with two more under construction and two others planned. PTI said a second site that would be allocated to the Russians at Kavali in Andhra Pradesh would have reactors with an enhanced capacity of 1200MWe. 

The Indian designed and built  pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) currently in operation have the capacity of 220-540MWe, but the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is already constructing new PHWRs with a capacity of 700MWe.  

The government has also given approved an increase in capacity of six AP1000 reactors, to be built by US Westinghouse Electric Co in Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh, to 1208MWe each. However, that project is now uncertain given the problems facing Westinghouse parent company, Japan’s Toshiba.

Six proposed EPR reactors to be built be France’s Areva and EDF at the Jaitapur site in Maharashtra will each have a capacity of 1650MWe, although this project is also facing delays because of concerns over India’s liability laws and the financial problems afflicting both Areva and EDF.



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