India’s Union Minister of State, Dr Jitendra Singh, has announced that the government proposes to construct more nuclear power plants to increase clean energy production. In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament), Dr Singh said, in addition to the 11 reactors (8700MWe) under construction, the government has given administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 10 indigenous 700MWe pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) to be set up in fleet mode. The government has also approved in principle five new sites for future NPPs.  

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the tariffs of electricity generated by nuclear power are comparable to those of contemporary conventional base load thermal power generators. The present installed nuclear power capacity comprises of 22 reactors with a total capacity of 6780MWe. In addition, one reactor, KAPP-3 (700MWe) has recently been connected to the grid.

On 9 December, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament) provided similar information. He also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his statement at COP26 Summit held in Glasgow has stated that India will reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500GWe by 2030 and will meet 50% of its energy requirements from Renewable Energy by 2030.

On the issue of government’s plan to meet the energy using different energy sources (both renewable and non-renewable) in the next 10 years, Dr Singh said a total of 79 hydro schemes with an aggregate capacity of more than 30,000MWe (comprising 11 pumped storage schemes of 8700MWe) were expected to be added to capacity during the period 2019-2020 to 2029-30. This includes 12,663.5MWe of hydro-electric projects under construction and five hydro schemes with capacity of 1023MWe, which have since been commissioned.

He said the existing nuclear power capacity of 6780MWe is going to be increased to 22,480MWe by 2031 on completion of projects under construction and approved. More nuclear power plants are planned in future. In addition, a total capacity of 31,665 MWe of coal-based plants are in the various stages of construction.

Image: India’s Union Minister of State, Dr Jitendra Singh