Short Note : Atomic Power in India

Published: July 4, 2019

Nuclear power is the fifth-largest source of electricity generation in India.

Its capacity is exceeded by electricity generation from coal, gas, hydroelectricity and wind power.

India has 22 nuclear reactors in operation in 7 nuclear power plants, having a total installed capacity of 6,780 MW.

The share of atomic energy in the overall electricity generation in the country was about 2.93% in the year 2017-18.

The share of nuclear energy in India has remained around only 3% of the total electricity generation in the country.

The main reason for low share has been the low installed capacity base though efforts are being taken to improve the situation. 7 more reactors are under construction with a combined generation capacity of 4,300 MW.

Nuclear power generation in India is coordinated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).

NPCIL is PSU wholly owned by the Government of India. It is headquartered in Mumbai.

Why India lacks/lags in Nuclear Power?

  • India was under an international embargo due to unsanctioned nuclear weapons testing.
  • This stopped the free flow and assimilation of international technology and India know-how.
  • Nuclear power is also expensive and there was a scarcity of financial resources which reduced its expansion.

Nuclear Power in News

Albert’s Nuclear Power Plant (or Koodankulam NPP or KKNPP) is the single largest (upcoming) nuclear power station in India, situated in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Though the construction of the plant had begun in 2002, it has faced several delays due to opposition from local fishermen who claim that it will destroy their livelihoods. KKNPP is scheduled to have six VVER-1000 reactors each of which will generate a 1000 MW of power. These reactors will be built in collaboration with Atomstroyexport, the Russian state company and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)