Confronting India’s Nuclear Regulation Challenge

India plans to increase the share of nuclear power in the overall energy mix by more than three times from the current share by 2021. While India has impressive plans to expand its nuclear sector, it also needs to pay more attention to issues such as regulation of the industry.

Earlier in March, India’s Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions and Prime Minister’s Office, Dr. Jitendra Singh, publicized this while responding to a question in the Lok Sabha (lower house) of the Indian Parliament.

Dr. Singh said that the current installed nuclear power capacity is 6,780 MW, which makes up around 1.84 percent of the total installed capacity of 368,690 MW. He said that the existing capacity of 6,780 MW will be augmented to 22,480 MW by 2031 by undertaking “progressive completion of projects under construction and accorded sanction.”

He added that there will be a capacity addition of 5,300 MW in the next five years, including a 500 MW Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) being constructed at the Madras Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam, India and implemented by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (BHAVINI).

In an earlier debate in the Lok Sabha in June 2019, Singh had said that the installed nuclear power capacity would reach 13,480 MW by 2024-25 with the completion of certain projects.

In a November 2019 debate in the Lok Sabha on India’s nuclear energy target, the government stated that it has instituted several measures for increasing the share of nuclear power in its overall energy matrix, including the “administrative approval and financial sanction” of 10 indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs), with a further two Light Water Reactors (LWRs) to be set up in cooperation with Russia.

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