New Delhi: The government has given the nod for 12 new reactors with a capacity of 9000 megawatts to expedite nuclear power generation in the country.
"The government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for 12 new reactors with a capacity of 9000 Mw, in addition to the reactors already under construction to speed up nuclear power capacity addition," Union Minister for Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh said in Rajya Sabha.
There are presently nine reactors under construction and pre-project activities are in progress at the 12 reactors accorded sanction, Singh informed Rajya Sabha.
To increase standardisation and bring modularity in building these reactors, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had earlier agreed on fleet-mode construction.
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) secretary KN Vyas informed about this development when speaking at the India Energy Forum's Nuclear Conclave in October.
"We are going in for fleet mode for construction, thereby reducing construction costs and speeding up construction time," Vyas, who is also the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said.
He said India is an old player in the nuclear energy sector with the first research reactor in Asia being commissioned in the country.
"Our learning curve was steep and we could ramp up the reactor construction to 22 reactors over the last few decades, the seventh-largest fleet in the world," Vyas added.
Though the overall contribution to the electrical grid does appear insignificant, this has been due to the smaller capacity reactors built initially to gain experience in this complex technology, without international support, he noted.
Jitendra Singh had earlier expressed the need to create awareness among the public about busting the myths associated with the use of nuclear energy.
He said nuclear energy is a source of energy to meet the rising energy demands of the country and it is an instrument of 'ease of living' in one's day-to-day life.
Importing uranium is likely to accelerate the nuclear programme's size as well as large scale thorium deployment, former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar said. Referring to the waiver of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to India in 2008, he said the nuclear programme now has much less constraints.
(With inputs from PTI)