India has demonstrated its ability to design, build and reliably operate Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and light water reactors (LWRs), Atomic Energy Commission Chairman KN Vyas said on Wednesday and noted that 21 reactors were in various stages of construction and planning which would provide 15000 MWe power.
In his statement at the 63rd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) here, Vyas said that India’s Kaiga Generating Station (KGS-1) has set a new world record of continuous operation for 962 days on December 31, 2018, while working at 99.3 per cent plant load factor.
Vyas, who is also Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, said that Tarapur Atomic Power Station Units (TAPS 1 and 2), connected to the grid in April and May 1969, have completed 50 years of safe operation.
“These are currently the oldest operating power reactors in the world, producing nuclear power at less than 3 cents per unit. Such achievements demonstrate India’s ability to design, build and reliably operate PHWRs & LWRs,” he said.
“India has a plan for capacity addition in nuclear power generation and presently we have 21 reactors under the stage of construction and planning. This will help in achieving an additional capacity of about 15,000 MWe,” he added.
Vyas said that Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), a unit under DAE, has completed the supply of fuel bundles to KAPS-3, the first 700 MWe PHWR, towards initial core India to have a requirement.
He said Apsara-U, an upgraded swimming pool-type reactor, operational since September 2018, has been operated at 90 per cent of rated power and demonstrated that it can produce carrier-free Cu-64 radioisotope, which has the potential for usage in PET scans.
“The U-233 fuelled Kalpakkam Mini Reactor (KAMINI) has continued its successful operation. It is being used for neutron radiography of a large number of pyro-devices from the Indian Space Research Organization, activation analysis, neutron detector testing,” he said.
The senior official said Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), a unit under DAE, has seven hospitals and one research institute catering to the needs of more than half a million patients every year, among which 100,000 are new patients.
He said India has made huge progress in the utilisation of radiation technologies for societal uses.
“We are willing to share our knowledge and expertise with our friendly partners. The process has already set in through increased interactions and actual collaborations in all areas of nuclear technologies concerning human life,” he said.
He also referred to the dynamic role played by the IAEA in guiding peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
The five-day conference will conclude on September 20.
Vyas referred to passing away of Yukiya Amano, who was Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and said during his tenure India brought 12 facilities under IAEA safeguards and signed the additional protocol to the India-IAEA Agreement for the Applications of Safeguards to Civil Nuclear Facilities.
Amano passed away in July this year.
Vyas said India’s interaction with IAEA has remained significant and 27th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference was held in Gujarat last year.