India’s atomic power plants operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is planning to commence construction on four nuclear power units this year.

Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman K N Vyas was quoted by IANS as saying that NPCIL would start work on two units, with 700MW capacity each, in Haryana as well as two 1,000MW units in Tamil Nadu.

Vyas was quoted by the news agency as saying: “In respect of projects implementation, the first indigenous 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS-Unit 3) in Gujarat achieved its first criticality (controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction) on 22nd July.”

“The reactor is expected to commence full power operation towards the latter half of the year. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is monitoring the performance of the unit very closely.

“NPCIL also plans to start construction of two new projects — Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP-2×700 MW) in Haryana and Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) 5&6 units (2×1,000 MW) at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu in the course of the year.”

India plans to indigenously build 16 nuclear units

India is planning to build and commission a total of 16 nuclear units of indigenously designed 700MW pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR), with a combined power generation capacity of 11.2GW.

Orders for six of the units that include KAPS 3&4, Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) 7&8 and GHAVP 1&2, have been placed.

Vyas added: “However, it is in respect of the 10 units sanctioned in fleet mode that bulk orders are being placed. The cost per MW of the 700 MW PHWRs is estimated to be about Rs 15 crore.”

In January 2020, the second component of the core catcher was installed at unit 3 of India’s Kudankulam nuclear plant during its construction.