Chennai: Asserting that nuclear energy is benign and very essential for country's progress, Indian physicist R. Chidambaram, known for his role in India's nuclear weapons programme, said India has a programme to establish 10 pressurised heavy water (PHW) reactors of 700 MW capacity.
“There is nothing to be apprehensive about nuclear reactors. Nuclear energy is benign and very essential for development,” he said on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters Mr. Chidambaram said nuclear energy and renewable energy are essential to combat issues like climate change.
“Even countries like Japan have started commissioning nuclear reactors while China has 12 reactors. India has a good nuclear reactor programme of establishing 700 MW PHW reactors and the government has allotted funds for the programme,” the former principal scientific advisor to government of India, said.
The Union Cabinet had on May 17, 2017, given its nod for the construction of 10 more 700 megawatt (MW) PHWRs. These will be in addition to four such reactors already under construction. The 10 reactors would help transform Indian nuclear industry besides strengthen India's credentials as a major nuclear manufacturing powerhouse.
Of the 22 nuclear reactors operating in India today, 14 are 220 MW PHWRS and they account for about 3,080 MW of the total installed nuclear capacity of 6,780 MW, which in turn constitutes 2.1 % of the total electricity generation capacity in the country. Apart from a few other smaller and older plants, the rest of this total capacity is largely provided by the two 540 MW PHWRs operating in Tarapur, and the two Russian aided 1,000 MW light water reactors (LWRs) at Kudankulam....