India needs to expand nuclear power 16 times by 2050 and Indonesia is developing high temperature nuclear reactors with Japan

1. India has to hugely expand nuclear power along with its entire power system to bring electricity to 300 million people and move away from coal, according to a study by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

At a mere 673 kWh per year on average, per capita electricity consumption in India is less than one quarter of the global average, said the IEA, highlighting its analysis of India’s electricity system published in its Energy Technology Persepctives 2014. A “first priority” for India is to raise this level of power consumption, while bringing electricity to some 300 million unconnected people.

Under the IEA’s ‘2DS’ scenario, where carbon dioxide emissions are curtailed enough to limit average global temperature increases to 2ºC, a range of renewables would provide 40% of electricity with nuclear supplying 15% by 2050. The use of carbon-intensive coal for power generation would fall from today’s 80% to less than 20%.

The 2DS scenario also sees total power generation in India quadruple by 2050. But nuclear power would grow faster than the power sector as a whole, from a total capacity of 5.3 GWe today to 80 GWe in 2050 – some fifteen times more.

India’s nuclear industry is characterized by its largely indigenous nature and reliance on the small pressurized heavy water units which make up 18 of its 21 units

2. A demonstration high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) could be constructed in Indonesia following the signing of a cooperation agreement between Japan and Indonesia on developing such reactors.

Batan is promoting the introduction of nuclear power plants in Indonesia to help meet the county’s demand for power. It envisages the start-up of conventional large light-water reactors on the populous islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Sumatra from 2027 onwards. In addition, it is planning for small HTGRs (up to 100 MWe) for deployment on Kalimantan, Sulawesi and other islands to supply power and heat for industrial use.

Prior to the introduction of commercial reactors in Indonesia, Batan is considering building a test and demonstration HTGR. Construction of this unit – with an electrical output of 3-10 MWe and a thermal output of 10-30 MWt – is expected to take four years with the start of operation scheduled for 2020, but design details have not yet been made public.

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