The government has decided that all future foreign atomic reactors in India will have a capacity to generate 1200 MW and above, in a bid to augment nuclear power generation. “We already have foreign power plants with a capacity of 1000 MWs (Kudankulam). The technology too has advanced that we have reactors with such a capacity. If we are installing them, then might as well have reactors that can generate more power and make optimum use of it,” a senior government official said. According to sources, the second site to be allocated to the Russians at Kavali in Andhra Pradesh for its proposed nuclear power park will also have atomic reactors with an enhanced capacity of 1200 MW. The existing VVER reactors built by Russians at Kudankulam have a capacity of 1000 MW each.
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The 1200 MW will be little less than twice the capacity of indigenously developed Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) in the country. The current PHWRs in operation have capacity to generate between 220 MW to 540 MW. The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is already constructing its indigenous PHRWs with a ramped capacity of 700 MW for its upcoming reactor.
Incidentally, the government has also given nod to increase the capacity of six AP-1000 reactors, to be built by USA’s Westinghouse Co in Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh, to 1208 MW each. The six proposed nuclear power reactors in Jaitapur in Maharashtra will also have capacity of 1650 MW each.
If the projects at Kavali and Kovvada come up, Andhra Pradesh will have atomic power reactors generating 14448 MW, the highest in the country. These projects are expected to finish in next 15-20 years.