India’s newest nuclear reactor connects to grid

February 27, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Kakrapar nuclear power plant in Gujarat, India, is home to four PHWRs. (Image: DAE GODL-India)

Unit 4 at Kakrapar nuclear power plant was connected to the grid on February 20, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) has announced. The 700-MWe pressurized heavy water reactor achieved first criticality on December 17, 2023.

The company announced the grid connection as part of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the plant last week. Modi also officially dedicated Units 3 and 4 at Kakrapar, which is located along India’s west coast in the state of Gujarat.

“The role of nuclear power in electricity generation is going to increase in 21st-century India,” Modi said, adding that the Kakrapar plant is “a matter of pride.”

Officials refer to the progress at Kakrapar as embodying the true spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, which translates to “self-reliant India.”

About the plant: In addition to Kakrapar-4, the plant’s Unit 3 entered commercial operation in June 30, 2023. Units 1 and 2, both 202-MWe four-loop PHWRs at Kakrapar went on line in 1992 and 1995, respectively.

The two new units were designed, constructed, and commissioned and will be operated by NPCIL.


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What’s next? At this time, NPCIL is building eight additional reactors with a total capacity of 6,800 MWe. Preproject activities are underway for a futher 10 reactors, targeted for completion by 2031 or 2032, which would add another capacity of 7,000 MWe.

Once completed, NPCIL anticipates nuclear power capacity of 22,480 MWe.

Seeking investors: India is inviting private firms to invest about $26 billion in its nuclear sector to add to its carbon-free energy sector, sources told Reuters. The funding would help India raise its percentage of non–fossil fuel electric generation from 42 percent to 50 percent by 2030.

The government is reportedly in talks with at five private firms, including Reliance Industries, Tata Power, Adani Power, and Vedanta Ltd. to invest roughly $5.3 billion each.

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