India approves ten locally made 700 MW nuclear reactors by 2031

India’s plans to build ten indigenously designed pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs). The Indian cabinet approved the plan in May, 2017. The reactors are to be built at four plant locations – including two new sites – by 2031.

They approved the construction of ten 700 MWe units to fast-track India’s domestic nuclear power program.

Atomic Energy Minister Jitendra Singh said
* two of the reactors would be constructed as units 5 and 6 of the Kaiga nuclear power plant in Karnataka state;
* two as units 3 and 4 of the Gorakhpur plant in Haryana state;
* two as units 1 and 2 of the new Chutka plant in Madhya Pradesh; and
* four units at the new Mahi Banswara plant in Rajasthan.

They are scheduled to be progressively completed by 2031.

The estimated total cost of constructing the ten units is INR 1050 billion ($16.3 billion) “at constant price level (excluding escalation and interest during construction)”.

Singh added that the materials, components and equipment needed to build the ten units will be sourced indigenously. When announcing plans for the new units, the cabinet said they would be a “fully homegrown initiative”, with likely manufacturing orders to Indian industry of about INR 700 billion.

The cabinet said the project will adopt a “fleet mode”, bringing “substantial economies of scale” and maximising efficiency. It is expected to generate more than 33,400 jobs and strengthen the country’s credentials as a “major nuclear manufacturing powerhouse”.

India has 6780 MWe of installed nuclear capacity from 22 operational reactors with another 6700 MWe expected to come on stream over the next five years. The first four indigenously designed 700 MWe PHWRs are being built at Kakrapar (units 3 and 4) and Rajasthan (units 7 and 8).

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