The Central Cabinet on Wednesday, May 17, gave its nod to build 10 indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs), which are expected to give a fillip to the country's rising demand for electricity amid goals to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in order to reduce carbon footprint and cut its contribution to climate change and global warming.
India has been steadily reducing its dependence on energy sources like coal and petroleum by either clamping down on their use or making energy generated from other sources more lucrative. For one, it has reduced the price of solar energy drastically, and has also promised to sell only electric cars by 2030.
Nuclear power is also steadily and increasingly making its way into use in India, thanks to initiatives like the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu. And now it seems more such power plants are on the cards, with the Union Cabinet okaying the building of 10 PHWRs, which will have a total installed capacity of 7,000 MW.
The Department of Space said in an official statement about the development: "India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6,780 MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6,700 MW of nuclear power is expected to come on stream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction."
It added: "...In a first-of-its-kind project for India's nuclear-power sector, the 10 new units will come up in fleet mode as a fully homegrown initiative. It would be one of the flagship 'Make in India' projects in this sector." The department also said that the order would cost Rs 70,000 crore, and that it would create 33,400 jobs.
The department also said in its statement: "With manufacturing orders to domestic industry, it will be a major step towards strengthening India's credentials as a major nuclear manufacturing powerhouse. The 10 reactors will be part of India's latest design of 700-MW PHWR fleet with state-of-art technology meeting the highest standards of safety."