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Nuclear energy is the oldest and the newest form of energy: The oldest because in its natural format was involved in the first moment of cosmological history the newest because its artificial form was first produced in quantity in the 1940s by Enrico fermi and other in the Manhattan Project Nuclear energy is generated within all the stare of the universe it is the source of our sunlight and consequently is the primary energy basis for all life on earth. Misused its artificial form can bring about the extinction of all life on earth.

The process of triggering the energy release would in most cases require more energy than the energy released. But nuclear energy is being obtained right now in two ways fission and fusion.

Although it has no shape size or colour energy is real because it has mass equivalence. A nucleus in the most common isotope of helium consist of two protons and two neutrons. Separately these four particles weigh a total of 4.0320 units. Together combined into one nucleus they weigh 4.0320 units. The loss of weight is called mass defect and is due to matter that turned into energy the binding energy that keeps the nucleus from flying apart. Binding energy is derived from the mater in separate tritons and neutrons. Matter and energy are interchangeable or equivalent as given by Albert Einstein’s equations E=mc2 where E is energy m is mass defect, c is speed of light.

The present total nuclear power capacity in the country is 3900 Mwe with the completion of projects under construction the total nuclear power capacity is expected to grow to 6780 MWe by Dec. 2008

Apart from production of abundant energy fusion has the advantage of being non-polluting and producing very little radioactivity. India main centres for research in fusion are BARC Mumbai and Physical Research Laboratory Ahmedabad. The first indigenously built India Tokamak christented ADITYA was commissioned in September 1989 at the Institute for plasma Research in Gandhinagar. ADITYA can generate plasma of temperature upto 5 million degrees. Which however is not sufficient to trigger fusion.

Relevance of Nuclear S & T to India:

India’s capability in nuclear science and technology has been viewed with apprehension by the west especially after the atomic explosion experiment at Pokhran in 1974 and in 1998. However India’s nuclear intension are peaceful and entirely directed to beneficial uses. The applications of nuclear science are many and benefits can accrue from it. Power generation is one benefit though in India nuclear power generation is not too high. A large number of radioisotopes and other radioactive produces produced by BARC are useful for many purposes irradiation of grains to disinfect them, irradiation of food stuffs to preserve them, radiography for diagnosis for disease radiotherapy, for diagnosis of disease radiotherapy, for treatment of disease development of high yielding and disease resistant varieties of wheat rice groundnut and jute through genetic mutation and industrial radiography..

Indian Nuclear Facilities

  •          Trombay: Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is India’s premier nuclear research laboratory.
  •          Tarapur: The Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) houses India’s oldest commercial nuclear reactors, which were provided by the United States in the
  •          Rawatbhata: The area Rawatbhata, 64 kilometers southwest of Kota in Rajasthan state, is home to the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RATS) and the Kota heavy water production plant.
  •          Kalpakkam: The area around Kalpakkam, which is located 80 km south of Chennai (Madras), is home to two major facilities. The first, called the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), is owned and operated by India’s NPC. The MAPS-1 and -2 PHWRs originally had maximum design outputs of 235 MWe, but they have been down-rated to 170 MWe.
  •          Kakrapar: The Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS), owned and operated by the NPC under the supervision of J.B. Kalaiya, is located in Gujarat state. The KAPS-1 and -2 PHWRs have maximum design outputs of 220 MWe, and are not subject to IAEA safeguards.
  •          Indore: The Centre for Advanced Technology (CAT) was established by the DAE to continue work done by scientists from BARC on lasers and accelerators as parts of its inertial confinement fusion and uranium enrichment programs.
  •          Narora: The Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS) in Uttar Pradesh state is owned and operated by the NPC. The NAPs-1 and 2 PHWRs have maximum design capacities of 235 MWe and maximum not outputs of 220 MWe. Kaiga : India is currently engaged in the Kaiga Atomic Power Project (KAPP) in Karnataka state, which consists of building two PHWRs (Kaiga-1 and 2).
  •          Ahmedabad: Located just outside the city of Ahmedabad, the Institute for Plasma Research houses the Aditya Tokamak fusion reactor and is headed by P.K. Kaw. The centre is supported by the DAE and conducts experimental and theoretical research of plasma Physics with an emphasis on magnetic confinement fusion and design for tokamak reactors.
  •          Koodankulam: In the wake of the 1994 Kaiga dome collapse and problems with its indigenously built reactors, India has looked to foreign suppliers of nuclear powers. In doing so, New Delhi has focused on completing a deal that was signed with the Soviet Union in the late 1980 for the supply of two 1000 MW power plants. Although the original deal was suspended, it has been successfully received and is proceeding forward.


Location                                                       No. of reactors & type           Capacity (MWe)


  1. Tarapore (TAPS 1&2) 2, BWR                                       2 x 160 = 320
  2. Rawatbhatta (RAPS 1&2) 2, PHWR                                    100+200 =300
  3. Kalpakkam (MAPS 1 & 2) 2, PHWR                                    2 x 220 = 440
  4. Narora (NAPS 1&2) 2, PHWR                                    2 x 220 = 440
  5. Kakrapar (KAPS 1&2) 2, PHWR                                    2 x 220 = 44Q

    Total 194Q

Under Construction     

  1. Kakrapar 3 2. PHWR 2 x 220 = 440
  2. Rawatbhatta 3 & 4 2, PHWR 2 x 220 = 440
  3. Kaiga 1 & 2 2, PHWR 2 x 220 = 440
  4. Tarapore 3&4 2, PHWR 2 x 500 = 1000


  1. Kaiga 3-6 4, PHWR 4 x 220 = 880
  2. Rawatbhatta 5-8 4, PHWR 4 x 500 = 2000
  3. Kudankulam 2, VVER 2 x 1000 = 2000

Target by 2020AD = 20,000 MWe


Reactor                                                                                                              Capacity

1 Apsara (Trombay)                                                                                        1MW

2 Cirus (Trombay)                                                                                           40 MW

  1. Zerlina (Trombay) 100 W
  2. Purnima 2 (Trombay) 100W
  3. Purnima 3 (Trombay) 100W
  4. Kamini (Kalpakkam) 30 KW

7 Dhruva (Trombay)                                                                                       100 MW

  1. FBTR (Kalpakkam) 42MW


Location                                                                                                            Capacity in tonnes

  1. Trombay 30
  2. Tarapore 100
  3. Kalpakkam 1 Laboratory scale
  4. Kalpakkam2 125


Location                                                                                                            Capacity/year

  1. NFC Hyderabad 90 MT
  2. Trombay Sufficient for Dhruva, Cirus & FBTR fuel pins
  3. Turamdih (Bihar) Yet to start


Location                                                                                                             Capacity in MW/year

  1. Nangal (Punjab) 14
  2. Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu) 49
  3. Baroda (Gujarat) 45
  4. Kota (Rajasthan) 85
  5. Talcher (Orissa) Very little
  6. Tal (Maharashtra) 100
  7. Munuguru (Andhra) 185
  8. Hazira (Gujarat) 100


  1. Indian Rare Earths Limited, Bombay
  2. Rare Earths Plant, Alwaye (Kerala)
  3. Mineral Separation Plant, Chavara (Kerala), Manavalakuruchi, (Tamil Nadu)
  4. Orissa Sands Complex, Chatrapur (Orissa)
  5. Uranium Corporation of India Turamdih, Jaduguda (Bihar)


Spin-offs from R&D in nuclear science contribute to national development which have social and economic relevance. Many spin-off technologies generated by multi-disciplinary research have contributed to agriculture, medicine, biotechnology, electronics and metallurgy. Some of the spin-offs are: a supercomputing system ANUPAM based on parallel processing techniques with fastest computing speed; an intelligent Braille Interpreter system, a product of social relevance which is of practical assistance to visually handicapped; antenna systems designed and fabricated for control of 45 m dia parabolic dishes of Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) installed at Pune; advanced remote handling and robotic devices and servo manipulators, for applications in industry; various scintigraphic techniques used in organ imaging and medical diagnosis and treatment.


  1. Operational Reactor

S.No.      Name of the Nuclear Plant                Types of Reactor           Unit                   Capacity              Remarks

5.15        TAPS (Tarapore)                                   boiling H20                      1 and 2              2x160Mw             US assistance

5.16        RAPS(Rawatbha; Rajasthan.)            reactor (BWR)                  1,2,3,4, 1,2       4x220Mw             Indigenous

5.17        Madras Atomic Power Plant               PHWR                               1,2                     2×220 Mw            Indigenous

(MAPP) Kalpakkam

5.18        Narora Atomic Power Plant                PHWR                               1,2                     2×220 Mw            Indigenous

5.19        Kakrapar (KAPP)                                   PHWR                               1,2                     2×220 Mw            Indigenous

5.20        KAPS (KAIGA)                                     PHWR                               1,2                     2×220 Mw            Indigenous

5.21        TAPS, Tarapore                                    PHWR                               1,2                     2×540 Mw            Indigenous

  1. Under Construction

S.No.      Name of the Nuclear Plant                Types of Reactor           Unit                   Capacity              Remarks

  1. KAPS (KAIGA) PHWR                               3 and 4              2 x 220Mw           Indigenous
  2. RAPS (Rawatbhatta) PHWR                               5 and 6              2 x 2200M           Indigenous
  3. TAPS (Tarapure) PHWR                               3                         2 x 5400M           Russian assistance
  4. KKNPP Kudunkulam LWR (Vodo-vodo           1 and 2              w

Energy Reactor)

  1. Planned

S.No.      Name of the Nuclear Plant                Types of Reactor           Unit                   Capacity              Remarks

  1. KAPS (KAIGA) PHWR                               5 and 6              2x220Mw             Indigenous
  2. RAPS, Rawatbhata PHWR                               7 and 8              2×540                    Indigenous
  3. TAPS (Tarapure) Fast Breeder reactor       5 and 6              2x500Mw             Indigenous

540 MWe Tarapur Reactor

Tarapur 4, the largest indigenously designed and built reactor in India, about 110 km from Mumbai was commissioned in March 2005. The reactor is built by NPCIL and is a pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) with 540 MWe capacity. India has so far built 12 PHWRs of 220 Mwe capacity. TAPP-4 has been built ahead of TAPP-3 (540 Mwe).

The fuelling of TAPP-4 confirms that all the systems of the reactor have been successfully integrated and has met all the requirements so far. It is the 1st indigenously designed and built reactor by NPCIL.

TAPP-4 is the only reactor in the world, which has been designed for the first time to reach criticality within 5 years from the start of construction.

India’s Nuclear Power Programme

To use country’s uranium and thorium reserves for power generation, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is following a three-stage programme which envisages building of, on a commercial scale, pressurized heavy water reactors, fast breeder reactors and thorium based reactors. The programme also includes technology development relating to operation and maintenance of the reactors, waste management, safety and environment monitoring. The Department has achieved comprehensive capability in the design, construction and operation of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR). The design of 220 MW PHWR has been standardized and scaled up to 540 MW capacity, and strides have been taken towards the development of thorium based reactors.

PHWR Programme

For the first stage of the Nuclear Power Programme, pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) was the reactor of choice. However, to gain operational experience initially an atomic power station, consisting of two boiling water reactors, was set up in 1969 at Tarapore (Maharashtra). This was a collaborative venture with the General Electric of US A.

The PHWR programme commenced with the building of two pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at Rawatbhata (Rajasthan). These reactors built partly with Canadian collaboration, started commercial production in 1972 and 1980. Later, in 1984 and 1986 two indigenous PHWRs were commissioned at Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu). With this, the Department achieved comprehensive capability in the design, construction and operation of PHWRs. With its R&D endeavour and the support of the Indian industry, DAE standardized 220 megawatt PHWR design.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a public sector undertaking of DAE, is responsible for the design, construction and operation of nuclear power reactors. Two such reactor units were commissioned at Narora (Uttar Pradesh) in 1989 and 1991. The design of the 220 megawatt atomic power reactors was further improved, and the indigenous technology of PHWR reached commercial maturity 1 with the commissioning of two 220 megawatt power reactors at Kakrapar (Gujarat) in 1992 and 1995 and two each at Kaiga (Karnataka) and Rawatbhatta in 1999 and 2000.

With a total installed capacity of 3260 MW, 15 atomic power reactors – 2 boiling water reactors (BWR), 12 pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) and one 540 MW PHWR are under operation.

Future Programme

One 540MW PHWR Tarapur Atomic Power Project- (TAPP-3) in Maharashtra, two 1,000 MW light water reactor (Russian VVER) Kudankulam Atomic Power Project in Tamil Nadu, and two 220 MW PHWR one at Kaiga (3&4) in Karnataka and other at Rawatbhata (5&6) in Rajasthan, are under construction These are being constructed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India. These will add 3,420 MW to take the total installed capacity to 6,680 MW in the coming few years.

The 540 MW PHWR is based on the design and technology developed indigenously and the 220 MW PHWR is the reactor design standardised in India. The research and development efforts of scaling up of 220 megawatt reactor design have resulted in the successful development of a 540 megawatt PHWR.

To provide a parallel stream for faster growth of nuclear power, India had entered into an agreement with the Russian Federation for setting up an atomic power station comprising two pressurized water reactors of 1,000 MW capacity each at Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu). Here construction has begun with the first pour of the reactor concrete on 31 March 2002.

The reactors are scheduled for completion in 2007-08. India has acquired an experience of about 200 reactor years of nuclear power plant operation.

The average capacity factor of the plants has also touched a new high of 89 percent. DAE has an ambitious nuclear power programme aiming at achieving an installed nuclear power capacity of 20,000 MWe by the year 2020.

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