In a major milestone for India’s nuclear power sector, the country’s first indigenously developed 700 megawatt electric (MW) nuclear power reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) in Gujarat has begun full power operations.

KAPP-3 Reactor Reaches 100% Capacity

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced via social media that the 700 MW pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) at KAPP Unit 3 has started operating at its full designed capacity.

The reactor had begun commercial operations on June 30, 2022, but was operating at 90% capacity until now. With the reactor achieving full power, India’s nuclear scientists and engineers have successfully commissioned the country’s largest indigenously built nuclear power plant.

Indigenous Nuclear Reactors Under Construction

The KAPP complex already hosts two smaller 220 MW PHWR units. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is currently building two more 700 MW indigenous reactors at Kakrapar – Units 3 and 4.

Construction is also progressing at Units 7 and 8 (2×700 MW) at Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) and Units 1 and 2 (2×700 MW) at Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP).

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Fleet Mode Construction Approved for 10 Reactors

The Indian government has approved the construction of 10 indigenous PHWRs in fleet mode at four locations – Gorakhpur in Haryana, Chutka in Madhya Pradesh, Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan, and Kaiga in Karnataka.

Overall, NPCIL plans to establish 16 such 700 MW PHWRs across India and has been given the necessary financial and administrative clearances.

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Significance of Indigenous Nuclear Technology

The operation of the KAPP-3 reactor marks a significant achievement for India’s three-stage indigenous nuclear power program. The country has mastered PHWR technology through several decades of experience in design, construction and operation.

Attaining self-sufficiency in nuclear reactor technology will boost India’s energy security and support the country’s climate change mitigation efforts. More such milestones can be expected as NPCIL takes forward construction of 700 MW PHWRs.

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