After coal, gas, hydroelectricity and wind power, nuclear power is the fifth-largest source of electricity in India. The country’s installed nuclear power capacity is expected to rise from the current 6,780 MW to 22,480 MW by 2031. Of late, India’s nuclear power programme has attained a rare feat involving home-grown reactors.
On 10 December 2018, Unit 1 of Karnataka’s Kaiga nuclear power plant, the indigenously designed pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR), broke the previous world record for continuous operation by clocking 941 days of non-stop run establishing India as the frontrunner among all types of nuclear power reactors. Further, at around 11 pm on 31 December 2018, when Kaiga 1 was taken offline for scheduled inspections and maintenance, the unit accomplished its continuous operation of 962 days generating about 5 billion units of electricity. Moreover, the non-stop 962-day run at a plant load factor of about 99.3 per cent demonstrates the pre-eminence of NPCIL in the design, construction and operation of PHWRs with unprecedented levels of efficiency and safety.
In the time to come, it is expected that India will be able to create a vibrant domestic nuclear power eco-system that can help us achieve self-reliance.
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