1 July, 2023
India marked a significant milestone in its nuclear power sector as the country's first indigenously developed 700 MW nuclear power reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) in Gujarat commenced commercial operations on Friday. The announcement was made by a senior official at KAPP, who expressed great pleasure at the achievement.
The newly operational unit, named KAPP-3, began commercial operations at 10:00 am on June 30, 2023. The reactor is presently operating at 90 percent of its total power capacity, as confirmed by the official. This development is a significant step towards strengthening India's position in nuclear energy production and reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is overseeing the construction of two 700 MW pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at the Kakrapar site. Alongside the newly operational KAPP-3, Kakrapar is also home to two 220 MW power plants. At present, commissioning activities are in progress at KAPP-4, which achieved 96.92 percent progress by the end of May, according to officials. The NPCIL has already granted financial and administrative sanction for the construction of sixteen 700 MW PHWRs across the country.
India's nuclear power expansion plans extend beyond Kakrapar. Construction of 700 MW nuclear power plants is underway at Rawatbhata in Rajasthan (RAPS 7 and 8) and Gorakhpur in Haryana (GHAVP 1 and 2). In a bid to further enhance its nuclear power capacity, the Indian government has sanctioned the construction of ten indigenously developed PHWRs in fleet mode at four different locations: Gorakhpur in Haryana, Chutka in Madhya Pradesh, Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan, and Kaiga in Karnataka.
The successful operation of the indigenous 700 MW reactor at Kakrapar underscores India's commitment to developing its nuclear energy capabilities and reducing carbon emissions. Nuclear power offers a clean and reliable source of electricity, contributing to India's sustainable energy goals. The utilization of indigenous technology is a testament to the country's scientific and engineering prowess.
The commercial operation of KAPP-3 not only strengthens India's energy infrastructure but also serves as a stepping stone for future advancements in the nuclear power sector. The expansion plans will not only boost the country's electricity generation capacity but also create employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth.