Seeking to move aggressively on a low-carbon growth path, India has set a target to nearly double its nuclear power capacity in next four years and increase it by almost eleven times by 2031-32 provided it doesn't face hurdles like land acquisition.
At present, the country - which ranks 13th in terms of electricity generation from nuclear source and seventh in terms of having operational nuclear reactors - has installed capacity of 5,780 MW.
Sharing basic details of the government's future plan on nuclear power in Parliament, the minister of state in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh on Thursday said the installed nuclear power capacity was expected to increase to 10,080 MW on progressive completion of under commissioning and under construction projects by 2019.
"More nuclear power projects based both on indigenous technologies and with international cooperation are planned in future", said Singh, in his written reply to a Parliament Question in Rajya Sabha.
The department of atomic energy has already set for itself an ambitious target of reaching an installed generation capacity of 63,000 MW by the year 2031-32.
Singh, however, said, "The installed nuclear generation capacity by 2031-32 would depend on actual start of projects and their completion, which in turn would be contingent to completion of pre-project activities like land acquisition and obtaining statutory clearances and conclusion of techno-commercial discussion in respect of reactors to be set up with foreign co-operation".
He also shared details of the sites which already have government's 'in principle' approval for setting up nuclear power projects in future. He also dismissed reports suggesting the government was buying nuclear reactors without site studies, saying sites for locating nuclear power plants are selected after detailed scientific evaluation in accordance with the criteria laid down in the atomic energy regulatory board code of practice.
Similarly, safety of nuclear power reactors to be set up is extensively reviewed at every stage and the reactors are set up only after its state-wise clearance, he said.
According to the data published by the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last year, there are 31 countries in the world which generate electricity from nuclear sources. Out of total number of 443 reactors in the world, the US has the highest number of reactors (99) followed by France (58), Japan (48), Russia (34), China (27), South Korea (24) and India (21).
In terms of installed capacity, these 443 reactors have the capacity to generate 3,81,359 MW of electricity last year with highest 98,639 MW being produced in the US, 63,130 MW in France, 42,388 MW in Japan, 24,654 MW in Russia and 23,025 MW in China.