Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the starting of operations at India’s first indigenously developed 700-megawatt electric (MWe) nuclear power reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) in Gujarat, calling it another ‘milestone’ for India.
PM Modi wrote on the social media platform X, “India achieves another milestone. The largest indigenous 700 MWe Kakrapar Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3 in Gujarat starts operations at full capacity. Congratulations to our scientists and engineers.”
The third unit is larger and more advanced compared to the first two.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a public sector enterprise under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), is tasked with the design, construction, commissioning, and operation of nuclear power reactors in India.
The company operates 23 commercial nuclear power reactors in the country, with a combined capacity of 7,480MW. The reactor fleet comprises two Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs), 19 Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs), including one 100MW PHWR at Rajasthan owned by the DAE, Government of India, and two 1,000MW capacity VVER reactors.
Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) Unit 3 commenced commercial operation on June 30, 2023. NPCIL has 9 more reactors under construction with a total 7,500MW capacity.
NPCIL is in the process of constructing two 700MW pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at Kakrapar, which also hosts two 220MW power plants.
Various commissioning activities were ongoing at KAPP 4, which had achieved 96.92 per cent progress by the end of May, according to officials.
In Unit-4, all civil works are completed, and progressive completion, testing, and commissioning of various equipment and systems are in progress, the corporation said. Major milestones like a hydro test of the primary heat transport system, reactor building proof test, and integrated leak rate test and hot conditioning are completed successfully, the NPCIL said. The unit is likely to be commissioned in March 2024.
NPCIL plans to establish 16 of the 700MW PHWRs across the country and has provided financial and administrative approval for the same.
Construction of 700MW nuclear power plants is underway at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan (RAPS 7 and 8) and at Gorakhpur in Haryana (GHAVP 1 and 2).
The government has also given the go-ahead for the construction of 10 indigenously developed PHWRs in fleet mode at four locations—Gorakhpur in Haryana, Chutka in Madhya Pradesh, Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan, and Kaiga in Karnataka.