Wednesday, May 17, 2017

India's government approves construction of 10 nuclear reactors

India's government has approved construction of 10 nuclear reactors that will have a combined capacity of 7 GWe - essentially doubling the country's current nuclear capacity.

Cabinet approves construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR):
Boost to transform domestic nuclear industry 
In a significant decision to fast-track India’s domestic nuclear power programme, and give a push to country’s nuclear industry, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR). The total installed capacity of the Plants will be 7000 MW. The 10 PHWR project will result in a significant augmentation of nuclear power generation capacity.
India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants. Another 6700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come onstream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction. 
As the government marks three years of its nation and people centric governnace, in a first of its kind project for India’s nuclear power sector, the ten new units will come up in fleet mode as a fully homegrown initiative. It would be one of the flagship “Make in India” projects in this sector.

India's PHWR units have been called CANDU's cousins. Donald Jones, P. Eng. has some background in annual reports on their performance for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The output of the newly announced units matches the newest indigenous Indian design, four of which are already under construction at the Kakrapar and Rajasthan site.

The World Nuclear Association (WNA) site has information on issues that have delayed the construction of the 4 reactors on their India profile page. The main hold-up seems to have been insurance/liability issues resolved in 2016, with construction progress reported since that time.

The output is essentially the same as the CANDU 6 reactors - most of which were built on-time and on budget at: Wolsong (4 - South Korea), Cernavoda (2- Romania), Qinshan (2 - China), Embalse (1 - Argentina), Point Lepreau (1 - Canada) and Gentilly 2 (1 - Canada).

The last 7 CANDU 6's constructed were reported, by Jones, to have an average lifetime capacity factor of 92% up to the end of 2016.

The CANDU 6 is also the basis of the Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor (AFCR) which is now the focus of a joint venture between SNC-Lavalin's Candu Energy, China National Nuclear Corporation and Shanghai Electric Group Company Ltd. I wrote on that venture on this blog last September, but a better explanation of the link between the AFCR and CANDU 6 can be found in the comments attached to a post on my Facebook page.

700 MWe now seems a standard for pressurized heavy water reactors.

10 PHWR reactors are listed as "Proposed" in India on the WNA site: 2 at Gorakhpur (Fatehabad district), 2 at Chutka (Mandla), 2 at Bhimpur, 2 at Ragasthan and 2 at Kaiga.

Also on the WNA's proposed listings are 2 EPR's and 2 of Westinghouse's AP1000 - both showing as "delayed due to liability", and perhaps the approval of the 10 units of indigenous design recognizes those projects are unlikely to proceed.

-from Reuters, Foreign suppliers urged to step up as India backs own nuclear design

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