India starts construction of two nuclear plants

21 July 2011

On 18 July, India began construction on two 700 MW pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at its Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan.

The first concrete pour RAPP 7 and 8 brings the total number of reactors under construction in India to seven.

The indigenously designed reactors are due to be completed in 2016-17, owner Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said in a statement.

In its press release NPCIL pointed out the safety features of the reactors, which are the second and third to begin construction following the Fukushima incident in March. (Chasnupp 3, a 315 MW, PWR started construction in Pakistan in May 2011.)

“The 700-MW PHWRs have advanced safety features, including passive safety systems that work on natural principles like gravity, natural convection, etc. and do not need operator intervention or motive power to ensure reactor safety under any state of operation,” NPCIL said.

India currently has 20 operating reactors with a combined capacity of 4780 MW. Once construction of the seven units is completed by 2017, the installed capacity will reach 10,080 MW, according to NPCIL.

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