Following the recent understanding with the US on issues relating to nuclear liability, India must once again aim at achieving the target of producing 63,000 mw of electricity through nuclear energy by 2032, former secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy Anil Kakodkar said on Tuesday.
“Most of the issues relating to nuclear liability have been sorted out. The Integrated Energy Policy in 2006 had projected a target of 63,000 mw of nuclear energy by 2032. I think we should aim at achieving that. It can be done,” Kakodkar told The Indian Express.
India currently has an installed capacity of 5,780 mw of nuclear power, including the 1,000 MW of electricity being generated by recently-inducted Unit-I at Kudankulam. The 1,000 mw Unit-II at Kudankulam is also slated to begin power production soon. Five nuclear reactors with a total capacity of 3,300 mw are under various stages of construction.
In addition, work on 19 new reactors, with a cumulative generation capacity of 17,400 mw, is scheduled to begin in the next few years. If all these start producing electricity by 2025 to 2027, the total installed capacity would still come only to 27,480 mw.
Many more reactors are to be built, but they might take some more time.
Several of these reactors are to be set up with collaborations with the United States, France and Russia. Work on the American and French reactors have been delayed due of some provisions in the civil nuclear liability law that India passed in 2010.
During the recent visit of US President Barack Obama, India and the US reached an understanding on resolving these issues in India’s liability law, paving the way for restarting work on these foreign reactors.
Kakodkar said India now needed to accelerate the construction of the reactors, and build them in a “convoy” mode. “We should aim at building a reactor in five years, instead of the seven or eight years it takes now. We have done it in case of some reactors in the past,” he said.
“What we need to do is to announce our intention right away. We need to talk in terms of a programme and not just projects. That is when the associated industry will also start investing and build its capacity. The 63 gw target by 2032 is doable and we must strive to achieve it,” he said.