The Indian government has said it intends to build more nuclear power plants to boost the country’s clean energy generation.
Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said that the government has, in principle, given approval for five new locations for building nuclear power plants in the future.
Singh’s statement was given as a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament.
The government has given administrative and financial approval for building ten locally designed, pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) in fleet mode.
These PHWRs are planned to be built over the next three years and each PHWR will have 70MW of capacity, amounting to a total capacity of 700MW.
PHWRs use uranium as fuel and heavy water as a moderator.
The Indian government is currently building 11 reactors, with a total capacity of 8.7GW.
The price of electricity produced from nuclear power is comparable to that of conventional power sources such as thermal power.
India currently operates 22 nuclear reactors, with a total capacity of more than 6.7GW.
A 700MW reactor named KAPP-3 has also been connected to the country’s grid.
Following thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources, nuclear is the fifth-largest production source of electricity in India, as reported by Mint.
The public sector entity, Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), is responsible for designing, building, commissioning and operating nuclear power reactors in the country.
NPCIL operates under the Indian government’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
Earlier this year, Indian energy company Azure Power signed an expression of interest (EoI) with the Karnataka state government to develop 1.7GW of renewable capacity.
The company plans to invest a total of Rs133bn ($1.7bn) to develop the projects, which will include solar, wind and hybrid energy assets.