Ex-heads of DAE, AEC, NPCIL hail decision on nuclear reactors

India's Top nuclear scientists on Friday hailed the government's decision to launch mega projects for 10 indigenous nuclear reactors.

"The cabinet has approved installation of 10 indigenously built PWHRs of 700 MW each", Union Minister Piyush Goyal said at a media briefing after a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India has 6780 MWe of installed nuclear capacity from 22 operational reactors with another 6700 MWe expected to come on stream over the next five years, the cabinet noted.

While the Minister said these 10 plants would create Rs. 70,000 crore worth of business for domestic manufacturers and generate about 33,400 jobs, he did not provide a timeline for their completion, saying the government would update the details when they are clear. The approval will boost India's domestic nuclear power programme and help increase its nuclear power generation capacity.

The decision comes against the backdrop of recent troubles for India's global collaborations in nuclear projects.

In a statement, the Indian Government said: "The design and development of this project is a testament to the rapid advances achieved by India's nuclear scientific community and industry".

India generated 37,674 million units of nuclear energy in 2016-17, according to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, at a capacity factor of 80%.

An official release later said that the project will bring about substantial economies of scale and maximize cost and time efficiencies by adopting fleet mode for execution.

"It underscores the mastery our nuclear scientists have attained over all aspects of indigenous PHWR technology". The new reactors will add another 7,000 MW to it. "India's record of building and operating PHWR reactors over the last almost 40 years is globally acclaimed", the release said.

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