Rajasthan nuclear power unit goes critical

Mumbai, Nov 24 (Inditop.com) Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Project, a 220 MW pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR), attained criticality at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan, an official of the Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) said here Tuesday.

“It joins four other PHWRs at the same site which have a total installed capacity of 740 MW and are already in operation,” said NPCIL chief engineer N. Nagaich.

Designed and built by NPCIL, the power generated at the unit will be distributed in northern India.

The new unit has also taken India’s installed nuclear power capacity to 4,330 MW.

PHWRs use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water and was brought under the safeguards applied by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) since early this year.

NPCIL has also designed 700 MW PHWRs, four of which — including two in Rawatbhata — are under construction and due for completion in five years, Nagaich said in a statement.

The total nuclear power capacity in the country is planned to be increased to 7,280 MW by completing under-construction projects in Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Over the long term, India is looking at taking its nuclear power generation capacity to 60,000 MW through diverse reactors technologies and designs, Nagaich added.