India has given unprecedented thrust to nuclear energy: Jitendra Singh

The current NDA government’s thrust on science, space research and nuclear energy has resulted in the unprecedented approval in “fleet mode” for construction of 10 nuclear reactors of 700 MW each, Minister of State in the Prime Ministers Office Jitendra Singh said on Thursday.

Inaugurating the 10th edition of the India Energy Forum conclave here, the Minister said the government aims to have 63,000 MW of nuclear energy capacity by 2032 and in order to facilitate this expansion the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, has been amended to allow joint ventures to set up nuclear power projects.

“in the last four and a half years, the government has made a conscious thrust in science, space and nuclear energy,” Singh said.

“As a result, for the first time in 65 years there has been the bulk approval of 10 nuclear reactors of 700 MW each. Also, the Atomic Energy Act 1962 has been amended to provide for joint ventures in setting up nuclear plants.”

With the government’s focus on expanding nuclear capacity, Rs 3,000 crore per year had been earmarked in the budget in the last four years, he added.

The government last year approved the setting up of 10 indigeneous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) of 700 MW each to be constructed by the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).

In his address earlier, the newly appointed Department of Atomic Energy Secretary K.N. Vyas said that the new PHWR world record of operating uninterrupted for more than 894 days set by the indigenously developed Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Karnataka on Wednesday shows that India has mastered the PHWR technology.

Vyas, who is also the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, said that administrative approval and financial sanction has been obtained for setting up 12 more reactors with a total capacity of 9,000 MW.