India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14,600 MWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024.
Because India is outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty due to its weapons programme, it was for 34 years largely excluded from trade in nuclear plant or materials, which has hampered its development of civil nuclear energy until 2009.
Due to earlier trade bans and lack of indigenous uranium, India has uniquely been developing a nuclear fuel cycle to exploit its reserves of thorium. Since 2010, a fundamental incompatibility between India’s civil liability law and international conventions limits foreign technology provision. India has a vision of becoming a world leader in nuclear technology due to its expertise in fast reactors and thorium fuel cycle.
India’s primary energy consumption more than doubled between 1990 and 2011 to nearly 25,000 PJ. The 2015 edition of BP’s Energy Outlook projected India’s energy production rising by 117% to 2035, while consumption grows by 128%. Electricity demand in India is increasing rapidly, and the 1128 billion kilowatt hours (TWh) gross produced in 2012 was more than triple the 1990 output, though still represented only some 750 kWh per capita for the year.
NPCIL supplied 35 TWh of India's electricity in 2013-14 from 5.3 GWe nuclear capacity, with overall capacity factor of 83% and availability of 88%. The target since about 2004 was for nuclear power to provide 20 GWe by 2020, but in 2007 the Prime Minister referred to this as "modest" and capable of being "doubled with the opening up of international cooperation." However, it is evident that even the 20 GWe target would require substantial uranium imports. In July 2014 the new Prime Minister urged DAE to triple the nuclear capacity to 17 GWe by 2024. Longer term, the Atomic Energy Commission however envisages some 500 GWe nuclear on line by 2060, and has since speculated that the amount might be higher still: 600-700 GWe by 2050, providing half of all electricity. As a result, India's nuclear power program has proceeded largely without fuel or technological assistance from other countries (but see later section). India's nuclear energy self-sufficiency extended from uranium exploration and mining through fuel fabrication, heavy water production, reactor design and construction, to reprocessing and waste management. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of thermal nuclear power plants.
In December 2014 the 40% of nuclear capacity under safeguards was operating on imported uranium at rated capacity. The two Tarapur150 MWe Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) built by GE on a turnkey contract before the advent of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty were originally 200 MWe. The two small Canadian (Candu) PHWRs at Rajasthan nuclear power plant started up in 1972 & 1980, and are also under safeguards. The 220 MWe PHWRs (202 MWe net) were indigenously designed and constructed by NPCIL, based on a Canadian design. Following the Fukushima accident in March 2011, four NPCIL taskforces evaluated the situation in India and in an interim report in July made recommendations for safety improvements of the Tarapur BWRs and each PHWR type.
The Tarapur 3&4 reactors of 540 MWe gross (490 MWe net) were developed indigenously from the 220 MWe (gross) model PHWR and were built by NPCIL. Russia is supplying all the enriched fuel through the life of the plant, though India will reprocess it and keep the plutonium*.
In mid-2008 Indian nuclear power plants were running at about half of capacity due to a chronic shortage of fuel. In April 2015 the government gave in principle approval for new nuclear plants at ten sites in nine states. Following the Nuclear Suppliers Group agreement which was achieved in September 2008, the scope for supply of both reactors and fuel from suppliers in other countries opened up. On the basis of the 2010 cooperation agreement with Canada, in April 2013 a bilateral safeguards agreement was signed between the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), allowing trade in nuclear materials and technology for facilities which are under IAEA safeguards.
The initial two Russian PWR types at the Kudankulam site were apart from India's three-stage plan for nuclear power and were simply to increase generating capacity more rapidly. Between 2010 and 2020, further nuclear plant construction is expected to take total gross capacity to 21,180 MWe. The EIA report for Chutka Madhya Pradesh power plant was released in March 2013, the expected cost for two units is Rs 16550 crores ($2.78 billion). NPCIL is also planning to build an indigenous 900 MWe PWR, the Indian Pressurised Water Reactor (IPWR), designed by BARC in connection with its work on submarine power plants. In line with past practice such as at the eight-unit Rajasthan nuclear plant, NPCIL intends to set up five further "Nuclear Energy Parks", each with a capacity for up to eight new-generation reactors of 1,000 MWe, six reactors of 1600 MWe or simply 10,000 MWe at a single location.
Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) in the Fatehabad district of Haryana is a project with four indigenous 700 MWe PHWR units in two phases, and the AEC has approved the state's proposal for the 2800 MWe plant.
Chutka (CNPP) in inland Madhya Pradesh is also designated for two indigenous 700 MWe PHWR units. In 2014 the Chinese president initiated discussions with his Indian counterpart about building nuclear power plants, raising he possibility that China could compete with France, Russia, Japan and the USA.
India's largest power company, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in 2007 proposed building a 2000 MWe nuclear power plant to be in operation by 2017. NTPC said it aimed by 2014 to have demonstrated progress in "setting up nuclear power generation capacity", and that the initial "planned nuclear portfolio of 2000 MWe by 2017" may be greater. NTPC is reported to be establishing a joint venture with NPCIL and BHEL to sell India's largely indigenous 220 MWe heavy water power reactor units abroad, possibly in contra deals involving uranium supply from countries such as Namibia and Mongolia.
The 87% state-owned National Aluminium Company (Nalco) has signed an agreement with NPCIL relevant to its hopes of building a 1400 MWe nuclear power plant on the east coast, in Orissa's Ganjam district. India's national oil company, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC), in November 2009 joined with NPCIL in an agreement "for partnership in setting up nuclear power plants in India." The initial plant envisaged was to be at least 1000 MWe, and NPCIL would be the operator and at least 51% owner.


Indian Railways, with power requirement of 3000 MWe now and rising to 5000 MWe about 2022, has also approached NPCIL to set up a joint venture to build two 500 MWe PHWR nuclear plants on railway land or existing nuclear sites for its own power requirements.
The Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and NPCIL are discussing a joint venture to build a 700 MWe PHWR plant. The government has announced that it intends to amend the law to allow private companies to be involved in nuclear power generation and possibly other aspects of the fuel cycle, but without direct foreign investment. In March 2009 GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy signed agreements with NPCIL and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) to begin planning to build a multi-unit power plant using 1350 MWe Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWR). After a break of three decades, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) was keen to resume technical cooperation, especially in relation to servicing India's PHWRs (though this would now be undertaken by Candu Energy), and there were preliminary discussions regarding the sale of an ACR-1000. In August 2009 NPCIL signed agreements with Korea Electric Power Co (KEPCO) to study the prospects for building Korean APR-1400 reactors in India.
In India, Nuclear power holds the fourth position among the different resources of electricity, Thermal, hydro and renewable resources being first, second and third respectively. Since the beginning of 1990s, Russia has always been a chief supplier of nuclear fuel to the country of India.
Presently India aims at increasing the input of nuclear energy to the total electricity production from 4.2% to 9% by the next 25 years. India envisages a significant growth of its nuclear power industry in the recent future as according to the Indo-US nuclear agreement, India is allowed to carry out international trade of nuclear power and technologies so as to develop its capacity of power generation. Apart from using imported enhanced uranium and being within the safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), India has developed several nuclear fuel cycle aspects for supporting its reactors. India's dependence on imported energy resources and the inconsistent reform of the energy sector are challenges to satisfying rising demand. In June 2009 NPCIL said it aimed for 60 GWe nuclear by 2032, including 40 GWe of PWR capacity and 7 GWe of new PHWR capacity, all fuelled by imported uranium.
He praised “India's self-reliance in the nuclear fuel cycle and the commercial success of the indigenous reactors.” He also emphasized the importance of maintaining the commercial viability and competitiveness of nuclear energy compared with other clean energy sources. Since building the two small boiling water reactors at Tarapur in the 1960s, its civil nuclear strategy has been directed towards complete independence in the nuclear fuel cycle, necessary because it is excluded from the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) due to it acquiring nuclear weapons capability after 1970. The remainder, which relies on indigenous uranium, was operating below capacity, though the supply situation was said to be improving. The only accident to an Indian nuclear plant was due to a turbine hall fire in 1993 at Narora, which resulted in a 17-hour total station blackout. The first unit was due to start supplying power in March 2008 and go into commercial operation late in 2008, but this schedule slipped by six years. Average load factor for India’s power reactors dipped below 60% over 2006-2010, reaching only 40% in 2008. It was expected to start up about the end of 2010 and produce power in 2011, but this schedule is delayed significantly. Two of the sites – Kakrapar and Rajasthan – would have 700 MWe indigenous PHWR units, Kudankulam would have imported 1000 MWe VVER light water reactors alongside the two being built there by Russia, and the fourth site was greenfield for two 1000 MWe LWR units – Jaitapur (Jaithalpur) in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra state, on the west coast. Now there are plans for eight 1000 MWe units at that site, and in January 2007 a memorandum of understanding was signed for Russia to build the next four there, as well as others elsewhere in India. These resulted in more formal agreements with each reactor supplier early in 2009, as described in the Nuclear Energy Parks subsection below. NPCIL said that "India is now focusing on capacity addition through indigenisation" with progressively higher local content for imported designs, up to 80%.
Major industrial developments are planned in that area and Orissa was the first Indian state to privatise electricity generation and transmission. It would be the utility's first nuclear plant and also the first conventional nuclear plant not built by the government-owned NPCIL. A more specific agreement was signed in November 2011 to set up a joint venture with NPCIL – NPCIL Nalco Power Co Ltd – giving it 26 or 29% equity in Kakrapar 3&4 (total 1300 MWe net) under construction in Gujarat on the west coast for Rs 1700 crore ($285 million). The Railways already has a joint venture with NTPC – Bhartiya Rail Bijlee Company – to build a 1000 MWe coal-fired power plant at Nabi Nagar in Aurangabad district of Bihar, with the 250 MWe units coming on line 2014-15. In anticipation of this, Reliance Power Ltd, GVK Power & Infrastructure Ltd and GMR Energy Ltd are reported to be in discussion with overseas nuclear vendors including Areva, GE-Hitachi, Westinghouse and Atomstroyexport.
This followed the government signing a nuclear cooperation agreement with France in September 2008. Areva says that the EPR has achieved Design Acceptance Certification in India.
This could proceed following bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements signed in October 2010 and July 2011.
Presently 19 nuclear power plants in India are there, which generates 4,560 MW (2.9% of total installed base) and 4 such power plants are in the pipeline and would be generating around 2,720 MW. The deterioration of domestic uranium resources caused the decline of electricity production from nuclear energy in India by 12.83% during 2006 to 2008. During the operational phase of this deal, the country is expected to improve its total nuclear power production to 45,000 MW by generating an additional nuclear power of 25,000 MW by 2020. Gross generation comprised 801 TWh from coal, 94 TWh from gas, 23 TWh from oil, 33 TWh from nuclear, 126 TWh from hydro and 50 TWh from other renewables. All are run by the state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCI), which operates more than 95,000 circuit km of transmission lines. The environment minister in September 2014 said it would be 30 years before India would be likely to see a decrease in CO2 emissions.
India's fuel situation, with shortage of fossil fuels, is driving the nuclear investment for electricity, and 25% nuclear contribution is the ambition for 2050, when 1094 GWe of base-load capacity is expected to be required.
Its power reactors to the mid-1990s had some of the world's lowest capacity factors, reflecting the technical difficulties of the country's isolation, but rose impressively from 60% in 1995 to 85% in 2001-02.


It is also developing technology to utilise its abundant resources of thorium as a nuclear fuel. It started up in 1972 and was duplicated Subsequent indigenous PHWR development has been based on these units, though several stages of evolution can be identified: PHWRs with dousing and single containment at Rajasthan 1-2, PHWRs with suppression pool and partial double containment at Madras, and later standardized PHWRs from Narora onwards having double containment, suppression pool, and calandria filled with heavy water, housed in a water-filled calandria vault. The two Tarapur BWRs have already been upgraded to ensure continuous cooling of the reactor during prolonged station blackouts and to provide nitrogen injection to containment structures, but further work is recommended. A further such agreement was signed in December 2010, and Rosatom announced that it expected to build no less than 18 reactors in India. Agreements intended for mid-2010 were delayed on account of supplier liability questions, with India wanting the units to come under its 2010 vendor liability law. The inland northern state of Haryana is one of the country's most industrialized and has a demand of 8900 MWe, but currently generates less than 2000 MWe and imports 4000 MWe. The Railways also plans to set up another 2 x 660 MWe supercritical thermal power plant at Adra in Purulia district of West Bengal for traction supply at economical tariff.
In April 2010 it was announced that the BHEL-NPCIL joint venture was still in discussion with an unnamed technology partner to build a 1400 MWe nuclear plant at Chutka in Madhya Pradesh state, with Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company Limited (MPPGCL) the nodal agency to facilitate the execution of the project.
This 40 GWe of imported LWR capacity multiplied to 400 GWe via FBR would complement 200-250 GWe based on the indigenous three-stage program of PHWR-FBR-AHWR (see Thorium cycle section below). India's contribution in fusion development is done through its involvement in the ITER project. The country has signed contracts regarding nuclear power with countries like France, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Mongolia, Namibia, Kazakhstan and Argentina after the Nuclear Suppliers Group declared a waiver in September 2008 to allow India to commence worldwide nuclear trade.
As per the report published in 2009, India holds the 9th position in regards to the count of operational nuclear energy reactors in the world and 9 are still under construction which includes 2 EPRs constructed by Areva in France. Three quarters of this would be coal- or lignite-fired, and only 3.4 GWe nuclear, including two imported 1000 MWe units planned at one site and two indigenous 700 MWe units at another. In July 2012 the Northern grid failed with 35,669 MWe load in the early morning, and the following day it plus parts of two other grids failed again so that over 600 million people in 22 states were without power for up to a day. However, it is aiming to involve other public sector and private corporations in future nuclear power expansion, notably National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) – see subsection below. However, late in 2004 Russia deferred to the Nuclear Suppliers' Group and declined to supply further uranium for them.
With construction completed, in June 2015 Bhavini was “awaiting clearance from the AERB for sodium charging, fuel loading, reactor criticality and then stepping up power generation." Criticality was expected in September, with full power about April 2016.
Then in December 2014 another high-level nuclear cooperation agreement was signed with a view to Russia building 20 more reactors plus cooperation in building Russian-designed nuclear power plants in third countries, in uranium mining, production of nuclear fuel, and waste management. An important aspect of all these agreements is that, as with Kudankulam, India will reprocess the used fuel to recover plutonium for its indigenous three-stage program, using a purpose-built and safeguarded Integrated Nuclear Recycle Plant. Compensation for land acquisition was being organised. However, with no change to the 2010 Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, GEH in September 2015 said it would not proceed with any investment in India until the country’s liability regime was brought into line with the rest of the world. Associate company Atomenergomash (AEM) is setting up an office in India with a view to bidding for future work there and in Vietnam, and finalizing a partnership with an Indian heavy manufacturer, either L&T (see below) or another. Thus AEC is "talking about 500 to 600 GWe nuclear over the next 50 years or so" in India, plus export opportunities.
India even signed a $700 million agreement with Russia in February 2009 about 2000 tons nuclear fuel supply. By 2032 total installed capacity of 700 GWe is planned to meet 7-9% GDP growth, and this was to include 63 GWe nuclear.
It had reached full power in mid-year but then required turbine repairs, though it generated 2.8 TWh in its first year. India was also to confirm a second location for a Russian plant – Haripur in West Bengal being in some doubt.
India's $717 million venture of swift breeder reactor is likely to operate before the end of 2010.
While there is a limitation in the country's Uranium deposit, there are some greater treasuries of Thorium which can multiply the power with the equal mass of fuel by hundred times. The OECD’s International Energy Agency predicts that India will need some $1600 billion investment in power generation, transmission and distribution to 2035.
In December 2008 a $700 million contract with Rosatom was announced for continued uranium supply to them. In 2015 a further contract was signed with TVEL for pellets which will be incorporated into fuel assemblies at the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad. The credit lines carry interest at 4% pa and would be repayable over 14 years and 4 years respectively, from one year after the start of power generation. Two more such 500 MWe fast reactors have been announced for construction at Kalpakkam, but slightly redesigned by the Indira Gandhi Centre to reduce capital cost. The 1962 Atomic Energy Act prohibits private control of nuclear power generation, though it allows minority investment.
At Kalpakkam Atomic Power Station located in Madras, a prototype reactor is still under construction which would be able to burn Uranium-Plutonium fuel whilst irradiating a Thorium layer. As of late 2010 the government had no intention of changing this to allow greater private equity in nuclear plants. This is based on plans to start serial production of reactors for the Indian nuclear industry, with much of the equipment and components proposed to be manufactured in India, thereby bringing down costs.



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