Cabinet clears 10 N-plants

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the building of 10 nuclear power plants to add 7,000 MW to the country's nuclear power generation capacity. They will be indigenous 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactors. The project is expected to make it easy for the domestic industry to raise supply capacities and bring down costs. The government said the reactors would come up in fleet mode as a fully homegrown initiative.

India will set up 7,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity with 10 units of India's indigenous pressurised heavy water reactor technology. This marks India's biggest expansion in nuclear power capacity, currently at 6,780 mw, and will be a flagship Make in India project. Another 6,700 mw of projects under construction will be ready by 2022.

The decisions are expected to prepare the country for the likely surge in power demand from industries, rural electrification and electric cars. The expansion in nuclear capacity, which will be part of the Make in India initiative, has cheered key players in the sector such as Larsen and Toubro, Kirloskar Brothers and Godrej and Boyce.

The programme will boost India's energy security through clean and carbon-free sources of energy and help transform domestic nuclear industry. The projects will bring about substantial economies of scale and maximise cost and time efficiencies by adopting the fleet mode for execution. They are expected to generate more than 33,400 direct and indirect jobs.

PricewaterhouseCoopers leader Kameswara Rao said delays in India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group has inevitably led to the consideration of indigenous reactors as opposed to imported ones. 

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