India plans to add 18 more nuclear reactors to its national energy mix by 2031–32, bringing the total nuclear power capacity of the country to 22.4GW, NPCIL has said in a statement.

The 18 new reactors will collectively generate an additional 13.8GW of electricity.

NPCIL currently operates 24 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 8.1GW.

The announcement follows the inauguration by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi of two 700MW indigenously built reactors at Kakrapar in Gujarat in February 2024.

The two new units included the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS 3 and 4). Unit 3 has been operational since August 2023. Unit 4 achieved its first criticality in December of the same year and was connected to the western power grid two days before the Prime Minister’s visit.

The commissioning of the two units has brought the facility’s total capacity to 1.8GW.

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Construction on the units began in 2010. A total of 1.4 million cubic metres of concrete were poured and the structures required 21,000 tonnes of structural steel.

The reactors are the largest indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors (PWHRs) in India and feature advanced safety measures.

NPCIL stated: “These reactors have been designed, constructed, commissioned and operated by NPCIL, with the supply of equipment and execution of contracts by Indian industries and companies, reflecting the true spirit of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).”

India’s nuclear power expansion includes four 1GW reactors being built with Russian assistance at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, and four 700MW PHWRs under construction at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan and Gorakhpur in Haryana.

Ten more 700MW PHWRs have also been sanctioned across locations including Gorakhpur and Kaiga in Karnataka, Chutka in Madhya Pradesh and Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan.

India’s Government is seeking $26bn (Rs2.16trn) in private investment for its nuclear energy industry as it looks to decarbonise its power sector.

The government is in talks with at least five private companies including Reliance Industries, Tata Power, Adani Power and Vedanta to invest Rs440bn each, government sources have told Reuters.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India has also commissioned a 40MW/120 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery energy storage system in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, accompanying a 152.3MWh solar plant.