The Indian government on 7 February informed parliament that it had given administrative approval and financial sanction for the construction of 12 more nuclear power reactors. Of these, ten will be 700 MWe indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs), and the other two will be 1000MWe light water reactors (LWRs) supplied by Russia to be installed at the Kudankulam NPP (units 5 and 6) in Tamil Nadu. The ten PHWRs to be built by 2031 include two units at Chutka in Madhya Pradesh, two at the Kaiga in Karnataka, two at Gorakhpur in Haryana, and four at Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan.
Currently, seven nuclear power projects are under construction with a combined capacity of 5300MWe and preparatory work has already begun for the two units at Gorakhpur in Haryana after AERB approved the start of excavation activities. Construction will start on the first unit in 2019, Minister of State Jitendra Singh said. Gorakhpur 1 is expected to enter commercial operation five and a half years after construction begins, with Gorakhpur 2 following a year later as phase one of the project. Two more units are planned for phase two. The government has allocated INR205.9bn ($3.2bn) for Gorakhpur 1 and 2.
Also, two further fast breeder reactors are planned for construction at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu, where a prototype is already under construction.
Meanwhile, Indian media reported that Westinghouse is holding talks with the government to revive plans to build up to six AP1000 reactors at Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh. The talks have sparked a series of demonstrations and protests by opponents of the project. While the original negotiations were for a turnkey project, Westinghouse has now said it will only provide reactors and components, not construct the plant, The Hindu reported. The plant was initially planned for Gujarat, in Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar district, but was moved to Kovvada after years of protests by local farmers.