As part of the launch of the country’s largest nuclear capacity expansion, purchase orders for the bulk purchase of critical equipment such as steam generators, lattice tubes, pressurizer forgings and Reactor heads have been spent for the construction of the proposed 10 units of new 700 MWe (megawatt electric) indigenous pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWR).
The engineering, supply and construction lots for the turbine island (conventional part of the atomic power plants) were awarded for four tranches of two of these projects developed by the national company Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL).
The transition of the reactor construction from the “pre-project stage” to the “under construction stage” will be marked by the first concrete pour (FPC) of the 700 MWe atomic power plant at Kaiga in Karnataka in 2023, which will be the first of the blocks and will begin construction of all 10 nuclear reactors in “fleet mode” over the next three years, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) officials told the House Science and Technology Panel, the environment, forests and climate change .
The Center had approved the construction of these 10 PHWRs in June 2017 – the first time it had cleared the construction of 10 nuclear reactors at once in “fleet mode” in a bid to reduce costs and speed up time. of construction. The projects involve an estimated cost of Rs 1.05 lakh crore.
PHWRs use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as moderator, and are the mainstay of the country’s nuclear power program.
The addition of 7,000 MWe is greater than the current combined installed capacity of 6,780 MWe. There are 22 reactors in operation to date.
After FPC of Kaiga Units 5 & 6 in 2023, Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Praiyonjan Units 3 & 4 and Mahi Banswara Rajasthan Power Projects Units 1-4 are planned for 2024; and that of Units 1 and 2 of the Chutka Madhya Pradesh Atomic Energy Project in 2025, DAE officials told the House panel.
Bulk sourcing is underway for fleet mode projects, with orders placed for forgings for steam generators, 304L stainless steel mesh tubes and plates for flanges, forgings for pressurizers, the forgings for the bleed condensers, the incoloy-800 tubes for the steam generators, the reactor manifolds, DAE officials said, adding that the EPC package for the turbine island has been awarded for the units from Gorakhpur 3 and 4 and Kaiga units 5 and 6.
The new reactors have significantly larger capacities than the PHWRs currently in service — the standard PHWR used in India is 220 MWe, although two 540 MWe reactors were installed at Tarapur in 2005 and 2006. The 10 new reactors will be installed in Kaiga in Karnataka (units 5 and 6), Chutka in Madhya Pradesh (units 1 and 2), Gorakhpur in Haryana (units 3 and 4) and Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan (units 1, 2, 3 and 4).
The decision to step up the country’s civilian nuclear reactor program comes amid delays in rolling out imported light-water reactor projects in collaboration with global suppliers.
The NPCIL will implement the proposed 700 MWe reactor deployment plans, which marks a major step forward for the public nuclear operator which has so far built smaller 220 MWe and 540 MWe reactors in under the country’s indigenous nuclear system. power program.