This report provides information on the status and development of nuclear power programmes in India, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to safe and economical operations of nuclear power plants.
The CNPP summarizes organizational and industrial aspects of nuclear power programmes and provides information about the relevant legislative, regulatory and international framework in India.
1. COUNTRY ENERGY OVERVIEW
1.1. Energy Information
1.1.1. Energy Policy
The Integrated Energy Policy of the Government of India aims at ensuring in a judicious manner adequate energy supplies at an optimum cost, achieving self-sufficiency in energy supplies and protecting the environment from the adverse impact of utilizing energy resources. The main elements of the Energy Policy are:
Accelerated exploitation of all domestic conventional energy sources, viz. coal, hydro, oil/gas and nuclear power in an environmentally sustainable manner;
Energy conservation and Management with a view to increasing energy productivity;
Optimizing the utilisation of existing capacity in the country by using high efficiency machines and processes in the entire gamut of energy related operations like mining, generation, transmission, industrial processes, transport, etc;
Adoption of ‘clean coal’ and related technologies to contain GHG emissions;
Accelerated development of nuclear and hydro-electricity;
Development and exploitation of renewable sources of energy including bio-fuels and fuel plantations to meet the energy requirement of both urban and rural communities;
Intensification of research and development activities in the field of energy, with infusion of sufficient capital by setting up a "National Energy Fund";
Organisation of training for the personnel engaged at various levels in the energy sector.
1.1.2. Estimated Available Energy
The energy resources are unevenly distributed in the country and are mainly used for power generation, transport and industrial and domestic uses. Table 1 shows the overall energy reserves and Table 2 the production of energy situation in India.
Coal, oil, natural gas and lignite are used for thermal power generation. As on 1.4.2015, In India, Coal reserves have been estimated at 306.6 billion tonnes by the Geological Survey of India. These reserves have been found mainly in the States of Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra. Out of this, the proven reserves of coal are about 131.6 billion tonnes. The Lignite reserves in the country have been estimated at around 44.11 billion tonnes by the Geological Survey of India (01.04.2015). The major deposits are located in the States of Tamil Nadu, followed by Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala, West Bengal, Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Puducherry. Out of this, the proven reserves of lignite are about 6.3 billion tonnes. The recoverable reserves of crude oil are placed at about 763 million tonnes and of natural gas at about 1488.5 billion cubic meters.
India’s hydro resource is one of the largest in the world, its gross theoretical hydropower potential is estimated to be 2,638 TWh/yr, within which is a technically feasible potential of some 660 TWh/yr and an economically feasible potential of 442 TWh/yr. Out of the total power generation installed capacity in India, hydro power contributes about 14%. More than 70% of the total hydro potential in the country is located in the northern and north-eastern regions put together.
1. Ministry of Coal, Government of India, Annual Report 2015-16.
2. Ministry of Statistics & Programme implementation, Government of India - Energy Statistics 2016.
Table 1. ESTIMATED ENERGY RESERVES
|Estimated energy reserves in (*)
(Solid and Liquid in million tons, Uranium in metric tons, Gas in billion cubic metres, Hydro in TWh per year)
|Solid (1)||Liquid (2)||Gas (3)||Uranium (4)||Hydro (5)|
(*) Sources: WEC World Energy Resources 2013 Survey, and Uranium 2014 Resources, Production and Demand ("Red Book")
(1) Coal including Lignite: proved recoverable reserves, the tonnage within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology.
(2) Crude oil and natural gas liquids (Oil Shale, Natural Bitumen and Extra-Heavy Oil are not included): proved recoverable reserves, the quantity within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology.
(3) Natural gas: proved recoverable reserves, the volume within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology.
(4) Reasonably Assured Resources (RAR) with cost under < USD 130 /KgU.
(5) Hydropower: technically exploitable capability, the amount of the gross theoretical capability that can be exploited within the limits of current technology.
1.1.3. Energy Statistics
Table 2. PRODUCTION OF ENERGY IN INDIA BY PRIMARY SOURCES (IN EXA JOULES)
|Year||Coal & Lignite||Crude Petroleum||Natural Gas||Electricity
|1||2||3||4||5||6= 2 to 5|
Uranium reserves in the country are estimated to be about 129,000 tonnes (metal). It does not include reserves in speculative category. One of the largest resources of thorium in the world is contained in monazite deposits (about 8 million tonnes) in India mainly along the Indian seacoast. Out of this about 4 million tonnes is considered exploitable of which 70% is considered mineable containing about 2,25,000 tonnes of thorium metal.
1.2. The Electricity System
Electricity is a concurrent subject as per the Constitution of India implying that both the Parliament and the State Legislature have the authority to legislate on the subject. The structure of the electricity sector derives its character and composition from the Indian constitution and till recently was mainly defined by the following Acts:
Indian Electricity Act of 1910 legislated over the supply and use of electrical energy in India.
Indian Electricity (Supply) Act of 1948 enacted in order to secure a fully coordinated development of electricity on a regional basis.
Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, 1998 had been enacted with a view to providing for the establishment of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERC).
For speedy reforms in the power sector with the goal of electrifying all the villages by 2007 and all the households by 2012 and to modernise the sector, the Electricity Bill 2003 has been enacted on June 10, 2003.
Electricity Act 2003 (Ref. http://powermin.nic.in/JSP_SERVLETS/internal.jsp):
This act consolidates all electricity legislations (Central and State) into one comprehensive binding act. It seeks to create a liberal framework of development for the power sector by distancing Government from regulation. The objectives of the Act are "to consolidate the laws relating to generation, transmission, distribution, trading and use of electricity and generally for taking measures conducive to development of electricity industry, promoting competition therein, protecting interest of consumers and supply of electricity to all areas, rationalization of electricity tariff, ensuring transparent policies regarding subsidies, promotion of efficient and environmentally benign policies, constitution of Central Electricity Authority, Regulatory Commissions and establishment of Appellate Tribunal and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto."
The salient features of the Act are as follows:
The Central Government to prepare a National Electricity Policy in consultation with State Governments. (Section 3)
Thrust to complete the rural electrification and provide for management of rural distribution by Panchayats (local governing bodies), Cooperative Societies, non-Government organisations, franchisees etc. (Sections 4, 5 & 6)
Provision for licence free generation and distribution in the rural areas. (Section 14)
Generation being delicensed and captive generation being freely permitted. Hydro projects would, however, need clearance from the Central Electricity Authority. (Sections 7, 8 & 9)
Transmission Utility at the Central as well as State level, to be a Government company - with responsibility for planned and coordinated development of transmission network. (Sections 38 & 39)
Provision for private licensees in transmission and entry in distribution through an independent network, (Section 14)
Open access in transmission from the outset. (Sections 38-40)
Open access in distribution to be introduced in phases with surcharge for current level of cross subsidy to be gradually phased out along with cross subsidies and obligation to supply. SERCs to frame regulations within one year regarding phasing of open access. (Section 42)
Distribution licensees would be free to undertake generation and generating companies would be free to take up distribution businesses. (Sections 7, 12)
The State Electricity Regulatory Commission is a mandatory requirement. (Section 82)
Provision for payment of subsidy through budget. (Section 65)
Trading, a distinct activity is being recognised with the safeguard of the Regulatory Commissions being authorised to fix ceilings on trading margins, if necessary. (Sections 12, 79 & 86)
Provision for reorganisation or continuance of SEBs. (Sections 131 & 172)
Metering of all electricity supplied made mandatory. (Section 55)
An Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals against the decision of the CERC and SERCs. (Section 111)
Provisions relating to theft of electricity made more stringent. (Section 135-150)
Provisions safeguarding consumer interests. (Sections 57-59, 166) Ombudsman scheme (Section 42) for consumers grievance redressal.
The Ministry of Power, Government of India (GOI), is responsible for the administration of the above act and to undertake such amendments to the Act, as may be necessary from time to time, in conformity with the policy objectives of GOI.
The electricity generating companies in the Central Sector are:
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) responsible for construction and operation of fossil thermal power plants in the various power regions under the administrative control of Ministry of Power;
The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) responsible for establishing and operating regional hydroelectric power plants under the administrative control of Ministry of Power;
North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) responsible for establishing and operating thermal and hydro power plants in the North Eastern Region under the administrative control of Ministry of Power;
Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) responsible for establishing and operating thermal power plants based on lignite reserves at Neyveli in the Southern region, under the administrative control of Ministry of Coal;
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) responsible for nuclear power generation under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
A new company Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (BHAVINI) was incorporated to set up fast reactors in October 2003. This is also under the administrative control of the DAE.
The Government of India has also taken up two joint ventures:
Nathpa-Jhakri Power Corporation (NJPC), responsible for the execution of the Nathpa-Jhakri Hydroelectric Project which is being developed as a joint venture of the Central Government and the Government of Himachal Pradesh.
Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC), a joint venture of the Central Government and the Government of Uttar Pradesh to execute the Tehri Hydro Power Complex.
Two statutory bodies i.e. the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) are also under the administrative control of Ministry of Power.
The generation through non-conventional renewable energy sources comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, GOI.
There are also non-utilities with captive generating capacities.
The Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) under the administrative control of Ministry of Power, provides financial assistance to the programmes of rural electrification.
The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) provides term finance to projects in the power sector.
The PTC (Power Trading Corporation) is an entity established to serve as a single point of contract for entering into power purchase agreements with independent power producers on the one hand and the consumers or state utilities on the other.
India is divided into five Electricity Regions; namely, Northern, North Eastern, Eastern, Western and Southern. For each region, a Regional Electricity Board is constituted. This is essentially to provide guidelines for operation of the grid, co-ordinate exchanges of power between states and regions. The Regional Electricity Board also reviews progress of schemes and plan generation schedule.
The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) has established and operates Regional and National Power Grids to facilitate transfer of power within and across the Regions with reliability, security and economy on sound commercial principles.
1.2.1. Electricity System and Decision Making Process
The Ministry of Power is concerned with perspective planning, policy formulation, processing of projects for investment decision, monitoring of projects, training and manpower development.
The National Electricity Policy (as indicated in the Electricity Act 2003) has been notified in 2005. Apart from overcoming endemic shortages in energy and peak power requirements, the policy sought to increase the per capita availability to 1000 units by 2012. It also aims to affect the financial turnaround and commercial viability of the electricity sector. As part of this policy, the ministry of power has embarked on setting up of eight "ultra mega power projects" of 4000MW capacity each in various parts of the country. Two plants at Sasan (Madhya Pradesh) and Mundra (Gujarat) have already been set up.
The National Tariff Policy to provide guidelines to the regulators for fixing tariffs for generation, transmission and distribution, has been finalised in January 2006.
The demand for electricity is assessed periodically at the national level by CEA. Based on the generation expansion planning studies, CEA prepares short, medium and long-term national power plans. Based on this, power schemes are conceived and implemented by the different agencies. Planning of schemes are on the basis of the national five-year plans and annual plans through the national Planning Commission. Expert groups scrutinize the formulation of the five-year plan before it is finalized and approved. In line with the five-year plans, annual plans are implemented.
There are different Ministries involved in the Power Sector such as Ministry of Power (being the main), Department of Atomic Energy, State Power Ministries and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Matching plans are prepared by these agencies for implementation in line with the national plans. Respective Ministries/Departments exercise administrative control of the functions relating to their areas. Individual power schemes go through the process of techno-economic scrutiny in terms of the procedures of the administrative Ministry before it is approved for implementation.
The Department of Atomic Energy is responsible for setting up nuclear power generation schemes including the techno-economic appraisal. Transmission schemes for nuclear power generation are implemented by PGCIL as per schemes approved by CEA on a regional basis. The overall integration of all the activities is achieved through the planning process in assessment of demands, decision on the expansion planning strategies, energy policy and national five-year/annual plans. Several policy initiatives have been taken and incentives have been provided to widen the scope of private sector participation in the India's electricity sector.
With the enactment of the Electricity Act 2003 and its implementation through various important notifications the electricity sector is rapidly evolving.
1.2.2. Main Indicators
The per capita commercial energy consumption has increased from about 10GJ in 1980 to nearly 17 GJ in 2005. During the same period per capita electricity generation from utilities increased significantly from about 162 kWh to 563 kWh. This increased to 957 kWh in 2014. The total installed electric power capacity of only 30 GW(e) in 1980 has made an impressive growth to about 122 GW (e) in 2005-06. The total installed capacity increased to 298.0 GWe by March 2016. The major contribution of electricity generation from utilities was thermal which is about 70% followed by about 14% from hydro origin and about 3% from nuclear origin. The growth rate of electricity generation in energy terms has been more than the growth rate in capacity addition indicating improving capacity utilization. Table 3 shows the historical electricity production and installed capacity and Table 4 the energy related ratios.
Table 3. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION AND INSTALLED CAPACITY
|Compounded Annual Growth Rate (%)|
|1980||1990||2000||2005||2009||2014||1980 to 2000||2000 to 2014|
|Electricity Generation [TWh]|
|Installed Capacity [GWe]|
|Others (Solar, wind)||..||..||..||..||..||38.82||..||..|
Years represent financial years from 1st April of the year to 31st March of the next year. Electrical capacities are at the end of the financial years. (1) Electricity from Utilities only. Losses not included. (2) Including 1.76 TWh import from Bhutan (Sources: Annual Reports 2005-06, 2006-07, 2015-16 of the Ministries of Power, Coal, Petroleum& Natural Gas, Ministry of Renewable Energy Sources, Central Electricity Authority and Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India.)
Table 4. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS
|Derived Indicators||Compounded Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
|1980||1990||2000||2005||2009||2014||1980 to 2000||2000 to 2014|
|Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita)||9.1||13.5||17.7||22.7||27.2||3.40|
|Electricity per capita (KWh/capita)||173.1||346.6||552.6||637.2||778.5||1010||5.98||4.40|
|Nuclear/Total electricity (%)||2.5||2.1||3.0||2.5||2.1||3.26||0.91||0.60|
2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION
2.1. Historical Development and Current Nuclear Power Organisational Structure
A major step in the formulation of the Atomic Energy Programme in India was the passing of the Atomic Energy Act in 1948 (subsequently replaced by the Atomic Energy Act of 1962). Under the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was constituted in 1948. Uranium exploration and mining required for the nuclear power programme were some of the initial activities that were undertaken.
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India (GOI) was established in August 1954. The Department is responsible for execution of policies laid down by the AEC. It is engaged in research, technology development and commercial operations in the areas of Nuclear Energy, related High Technologies and supports basic research in nuclear science and engineering.
The key policy has been self-reliance. The importance of developing a strong research and development base for the nuclear power programme was recognized early on. Thus, a decision was made, in 1954, to set up a research and development centre, now called Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Trombay. Research reactors APSARA (1956), CIRUS (1960), and DHRUVA (1985) and critical facilities were set up at the Centre. A number of additional facilities and laboratories were built at the Centre to support the nuclear power programme and related nuclear fuel cycle activities. The Research Centres in the Department extend the necessary R&D support to the nuclear power programme and associated fuel cycle activities.
In 1947 when India became independent, its installed electric power capacity was only about 1.5 GW (e), which has now grown to about 298 GW(e) by 2015. Considering the population growth, low per capita electricity consumption and need for increasing the share of commercial energy sources, large-scale production of electric power was necessary. By the late 1950's, AEC had worked out the economics of generating electricity from atomic power reactors. Based on this study, the Government decided to set up a series of nuclear power plants at locations away from coalmines and nearer to load centres. The strategy adopted by the Indian nuclear power programme is to use the country's modest uranium and vast thorium resources. In line with this strategy, a three-stage programme is envisaged. The first stage is based on setting up of pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) using indigenously available natural uranium producing electricity and plutonium and is in commercial domain. This is being followed by the second stage by plutonium fuelled fast breeder reactors (FBRs) producing electricity and more plutonium and uranium233 from thorium. The third stage of reactors will be based on thorium cycle producing electricity and more uranium233. The design of a 300 MW Advanced Heavy Water Reactor is completed and construction of a critical facility for AHWR has been built and being operated. The three stage process described above will enable the country to make efficient use of domestic uranium and thorium contributing significantly to attain true energy security beyond 2050.
India is pursuing fundamental and applied research in the field of plasma physics and thermonuclear fusion and development of technologies relevant to these fields. The overall goal of pursuing thermonuclear fusion research is to develop it as a viable energy technology for future. The first indigenously designed and fabricated Tokamak ADITYA was commissioned by the Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) in 1989 and has been regularly operated. Experiments on edge plasma fluctuations, turbulence and other related works have been conducted. A Superconducting Steady State Tokamak (SST-1) is operational which is enabling advanced research in the Physics of Plasmas and associated technologies. SST-1 has made significant milestone achievement during the campaign-IX that concluded on May 31, 2014. During this campaign, SST-1 Toroidal Field Magnets achieved the unique feat of operating its superconducting mode with magnetic field flat tops exceeding 20000 seconds at a field of 1.5 T on the plasma centre (~ 2.8 T on the magnet winding packs) in Two Phase cooling conditions. As of now, SST-1 superconducting magnets are the only magnets in the world that operates in two-phase flow in a cryo-stable condition. This experience would be useful in the ITER (International Thermo-nuclear Experimental Reactor) Project, of which India is a partner.
A Table indicating salient milestones of the Indian Atomic Energy Programme:
2.1.2. Current Organisational Structure
The Indian Atomic Energy Organisational Structure is shown in Figure 1. Development of nuclear power and related nuclear fuel cycle and research and development activities are carried out in various units under the AEC/DAE. The organisation is broadly divided into research and development sector, industrial sector, public sector, services and support sector and provides for close interaction needed between the production and R&D units.
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) comes directly under the Atomic Energy Commission as the independent Regulatory Authority. It is independent of DAE.
Research and development sector includes Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Research (RRCAT), Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), and fully aided research institutions like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Institute for Plasma Research (IPR) and others. It also includes Board of Research for Nuclear Sciences (BRNS) and National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) for providing extra-mural funding to universities and other national laboratories.
The HRD programmes of DAE have been recently augmented by the setting up of the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) as a "Deemed to be University". This will further strengthen the linkages between basic research and technology development in various constituent R&D centres and grant-in-aid institutes of the DAE.
Industrial sector includes Government owned units Heavy Water Board (HWB) for the production of heavy water, Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) for the manufacture of nuclear fuel, zircaloy components and stainless steel tubes, and Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT) for processing and sale of radioisotopes.
Public Sector Enterprises under the control of DAE and their activities are as follows:
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) engaged in the design, construction, commissioning and operation of the nuclear power plants based on thermal reactors;
Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) engaged in mining, milling and processing of uranium ore;
Indian Rare Earths Limited (IRE) engaged in mining and processing mineral sands containing thorium and rare earth minerals and producing minerals such as ilmenite, rutile, monazite, zircon and garnet;
Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) engaged in design and manufacture of reactor control and instrumentation equipment related to atomic energy and also to other sectors;
Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) for setting up fast reactors.
Directorate of Construction Services and Estate Management is responsible for construction and maintenance of residential housing/office buildings and other related facilities; Directorate of Purchase and Stores is responsible for centralised purchases and stores.
Nuclear power projects have been set up and operated by a unit directly under the Government of India since the late 1960's, when the construction of the first nuclear power station was commenced. This unit was corporatised in September 1987, thereby forming Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a wholly owned company of Government of India. Formation of NPCIL was a step to give the required degree of operational freedom and to mobilise funds from the Indian capital market to finance new nuclear power projects. NPCIL is responsible to design, construct, commission and operate the nuclear power plants of the first stage nuclear power programme.
Construction of the first 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) was taken up by the public sector enterprise, BHAVINI under the DAE and its construction is nearing completion.
Development of the 300 MWe AHWR design, for demonstration of technology towards large-scale utilisation of thorium for electricity generation, is being carried out at BARC.
Figure 1. Organisational Structure of Department of Atomic Energy
2.2. Nuclear Power Plants: Status and Operation
The nuclear power generation comes under the AEC/DAE, GOI. NPCIL, a public sector enterprise of the DAE is responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of the nuclear power stations. It is supported by the different units of the Department for R&D, supply of fuel, heavy water, etc. Power generated from the nuclear power stations is sold to State Electricity Boards as per the power purchase agreements. The power supplied is shared by the States in the respective Electricity Region in which the nuclear power plant is located. The laying of transmission lines for evacuation of power from the nuclear power plants is carried out by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), a public sector enterprise of Ministry of Power, GOI. The tariffs for generation of electricity generated by the nuclear power stations are fixed based on the applicable norms and notified by the DAE in consultation with the CEA. AERB is the Competent Authority for the regulation on the safety aspects of nuclear power. Environmental clearances for the nuclear power plant sites are obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, GOI apart from the clearance of AERB.
2.2.1. Status and Performance of Nuclear Power Plants
The construction of India's first nuclear power station at Tarapur consisting of two boiling water reactors (BWRs) commenced in 1964. This was essentially to establish the technical and economic viability of nuclear power in India and to gain valuable experience. In parallel, the work on construction of PHWRs was also commenced. Apart from the first two BWRs at Tarapur which are in operation since 1969, eighteen PHWRs with two reactors at each of the four locations Kalpakkam (MAPS), Narora (NAPS), Kakrapar (KAPS), and Tarapur (TAPS-3&4), four at Kaiga (KGS) and six reactors at Rawatbhata (RAPS) are now in operation. Of these, TAPS- 3&4 are of 540 MWe unit size while the others are in the unit size range of about 200-220 MWe (gross). In addition, one 1000 MWe VVER type PWR (Kudankulam-1) is also operational. The total gross nuclear power capacity in operation is now 5780 MWe.
Construction work for one more unit of 1000 MW (e) VVER (Kudankulam-2) is in progress in co-operation with Russian Federation. Several advanced safety features have been provided in these reactors. Construction work for setting up of two units of 700 MWe PHWRs at Rawatbhata (RAPP-7&8) and two units of 700 MWe PHWRs at Kakrapar (KAPP-7&8) are also in progress.
The work on the second stage of the nuclear power programme is in progress at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). The Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) 40 MWth at Kalpakkam is in operation. Its unique carbide fuel has achieved a burn-up of 155,000 MWD/Tonne. Construction of the first 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is in advanced stage of construction and system wise commissioning trials commenced.
Towards building up thorium-based reactors, the strides taken by DAE include setting up of 30 kWth neutron source reactor KAMINI at Kalpakkam. The reactor has been in operation since 1997. Kamini uses uranium233-based fuel derived from irradiated thorium.
A detailed design report for setting up the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) of 300 MWe capacity has already been prepared by BARC. This is a vertical pressure tube reactor design utilising heavy water moderator, boiling light water coolant, thorium-plutonium based fuel and incorporating passive safety systems. It derives about two-third of its power from thorium and DAE/BARC. It will be essentially a technology demonstration project for utilising thorium for electricity generation and the site has been selected and is expected to start construction in a few years time.
Table-7 gives a status of nuclear power plants in India.
Table 5. STATUS OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|KUDANKULAM-3||PWR||917||Under Construction||NPCIL||JSC ASE||2017-06-29||2022-09-30||2023-03-31|
|KUDANKULAM-4||PWR||917||Under Construction||NPCIL||JSC ASE||2017-10-23||2023-05-31||2023-11-30|
|Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).|
|Note: Table is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.|
The performance of NPPs in operation is given below:
Notes: (* Up to Feb 2016); (# This is infirm power generation before commercial operation)
Overall Performance of Nuclear Power Plants
Performance highlights: (FY 2014-15)
NPCIL generated 37,835 million units of electricity, including 2243 million units infirm power of KKNPP-1. In all, KKNPP-1 has generated 3348 million units of infirm power and 2087 million units of commercial power up to March 31, 2015.
The Overall availability factor of the reactors in operation continued to be high at 88% during 2014-15.
Overall capacity factor of operating reactors of NPCIL was 82% during 2014-15.
The safety record of NPCIL was maintained impeccable over 45 years of safe, accident-free operation.
During the year 2014-15, NPCIL’s Profit After tax (PAT) was Rs 2,201 crore.
Dividend and tax on dividend of Rs 767.33 crore for the year paid to Government of India.
NPCIL’s instruments continued to be maintained at AAA rating.
KKNPP Unit-1 commenced commercial operation on December 31, 2014. The 1000 MW capacity was added to the Southern grid. The unit attained criticality on July 13, 2013 and was synchronised to the Southern grid for the first time on October 22, 2013.
Commissioning work is underway at KKNPP-2 (1000 MW LWR), while construction is progressing at KAPP-3&4 (2x700 MW PHWRs) and RAPP-7&8 (2x700 MW PHWRSs).
GHAVP (1&2) and KKNPP (3&4) projects have been accorded administrative approval and financial sanction from Government of India. These projects are planned to be launched in 2015-16. Also, pre-project activities like MoEF clearance, land acquisition, site infrastructure development works, etc. Are at various stages of progress at site in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
(Source: Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited Corporate Profile October 2015, Department of Atomic Energy, India)
2.2.2. Plant Upgrading, Plant Life Management and License Renewals
Technology, tools and procedures have been successfully developed and deployed based on indigenous efforts for in-service inspection, complex in-core maintenance and major refurbishment work. Life management programme for coolant channels, based on indigenous technology like Non-Intrusive Vibration Diagnostic Technique along with various computer codes like SCAPCA, HYCON and BLIST has enabled safe operation of the first generation of Indian PHWRs having zircaloy-2 pressure tubes. The slivering tool has been used for collecting more than 850 samples from nearly 200 pressures tubes of operating 220 MWe PHWRs. A modified version of the slivering tool to cater to the higher diameter of pressure tube due to creep has been developed. A modified hot pressurisation scheme for 220 MWe PHWR has been evolved based on detailed studies carried out and implemented in operating reactors.
Plant life extension activities are progressively being implemented at TAPS 1&2. Upper shell longitudinal welds of Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) which were seen as inaccessible up till now have been inspected first time since operation of the reactors by deploying Weld Inspection Manipulator (WIM) in Unit-1 in August 2012. Subsequently Unit-2 and again Unit-1 upper shell welds were inspected with upgraded versions of WIM in Feb 2013 & March 2015 respectively. Inspection of upper shell welds paves the way for more challenging inspection of beltline region welds. A manipulator named as BARC Vessel Inspection System (BARVIS) for inspection of beltline region welds from inner side of the RPV was designed, manufactured, tested & qualified. During Refuelling Outage in January 2016 of Unit -2, BARVIS has been successfully deployed for beltline region welds inspection.
Post Fukushima upgrades in Indian NPPs:
Safety enhancement in Indian NPPs has been a continuous process. Immediately after the Fukushima (Japan) accident safety re-assessment of all Indian NPPs was carried out by NPCIL and AERB. These assessments brought out the requirements for further enhancement in safety, especially against severe external events.
The approach adopted for these safety enhancements is outlined below:
Re-confirmation of capability to withstand currently defined site specific design / review basis levels of external events for individual plants. This included revisiting the results of earlier PSRs and review of need for further strengthening, as necessary.
Assessment of margins available for beyond the design / review bases levels of external events. The objective of this assessment was to find out if cliff edges were close to the design basis /review basis levels and to suggest modifications such that minimum safety functions can be performed in such situation.
Enhancing the capability of the plants to perform the safety functions under extended SBO / extended loss of heat sink through the design provisions. Towards this, NPCIL carried out safety assessment for extended SBO and augment the capability for continued heat removal for 7 days. The measures being incorporated based on the above assessments include:
Alternate provisions for core cooling and cooling of reactor components including identification / creation of alternate water sources and providing hook-up points to transfer water for long term core cooling,
Provision of portable DGs / power packs
Battery operated devices for plant status monitoring
Additional hook up points for adding up water to spent fuel storage pools
Review and strengthening of severe accident management provisions particularly with respect to:
Creation of an On-Site Emergency Support Centre at each NPP site which should remain functional under extreme events including radiological, with adequate provisions of communication, monitoring of plant status and having capacity for housing essential personnel for a minimum period of one week.
Significant progress has been made in all the areas identified for post Fukushima upgrades for each of the operating NPP in the country.
2.3. Future Development of Nuclear Power Sector
Based on the nuclear power projects under commissioning, capacity additions of 1500 MW (e) will be done by 2016/2017. With this, the total nuclear power capacity will grow to 7280 MW(e). Four 700 MWe PHWRs are under construction and six more PHWRs of 700 MWe are also planned for start in next few years. A 300 MWe AHWR and about ten LWRs of about 1000 MWe each based on international cooperation are planned for start of construction over the next six years. More indigenous FBRs are also planned in future.
2.3.1. Current Issues and Development on Nuclear Power
The Integrated Energy Policy of the country recognizes that nuclear power based on indigenous resources can provide long term energy security for the country and recommends continued support for the three-stage program and development of the thorium fuel cycle. It also recommends exploring the possibility of setting up large nuclear capacities based on imports once the necessary agreements for international cooperation are in place.
Privatisation and Deregulation
The nuclear power generation and related fuel cycle activities are under the Central Government. NPCIL, a wholly owned company of GOI. The 500 MWe PFBR is being set up by BHAVINI which is another PSU under DAE registered on 22nd October 2003 for this purpose. DAE, is responsible for setting up and operating the nuclear power plants. The other related fuel cycle (both front-end and back end) activities are carried out by the different units of DAE, GOI.
As of now, there is no equity participation by the private sector in the area of nuclear power generation. In order to facilitate having possibility of joint ventures with other public sector company, the Atomic Energy Act 1962 was amended in the year 2015. This is essentially aimed to attract investment in the nuclear power sector for capacity addition.
Role of the Government in nuclear R&D
Most of the R&D related to nuclear power is funded and carried out by the Department of Atomic Energy under Government of India. However through extra mural research funding, the R&D is also carried out in some of academic research institutions outside the Department of Atomic Research Centre.
Nuclear Energy and Climatic Change
India is a large country and so needs a large electricity generating capacity. Power generation in India was 4.1 billion kWhr in 1947-48 and in 2014-15; it was about 1272 billion kWhr including captive power. In the next 50 years, it may increase by a factor of 12 or more. At present, a major component of electricity is generated using fossil fuels and there are environmental concerns like green house gas (GHG) emissions associated with the energy generation using fossil resources. If India continues to rely on fossil resources as at present, it will have serious effects on local, regional and global environment. Therefore, it is necessary that India continues to develop nuclear energy and meets a significant percentage of its electricity needs based on nuclear energy.
Safety and Waste Management Issues
Utmost attention is given to safety in nuclear power plants. The overriding attention to safety encompasses the entire gamut of activities associated with nuclear power plants (NPPs), that is, siting, design, construction, commissioning, and operation. In all these activities, a major effort is devoted to ensuring safety of operating personnel, public as well as the environment.
A systematic approach using well-defined principles is followed in the design of the nuclear power plants to provide the required safety features adopting principles of defence-in-depth, diversity and redundancy. Nuclear Power Plants are constructed in accordance with the design intent, and with required quality of workmanship to very strict quality standards. Commissioning of the systems to test and demonstrate adequacy of each system and the plant as a whole by actual performance tests to meet the design intent is carried out before commencing the operation of the plant. Operation of the plant is carried out as per defined and approved procedures defining the safety limits for various system parameters, in technical specifications that are thoroughly reviewed by the internal safety committees and approved by AERB. Further AERB, through formal clearances that authorise actions and stipulate specific conditions, enforces safety at various stages of the plant. These include site approval, review and approval of design of systems important to safety and authorisations for construction, commissioning and operation and safety review during operational phase. The regulatory framework in India is indeed robust. All these measures are for ensuring safe operation of the plants, safety of occupational workers and members of public.
All nuclear power plant sites in India are self sufficient in the management of radioactive waste generated there. Adequate facilities have been provided for handling, treatment and disposal of relevant wastes at these sites. Management of radioactive wastes is carried out in conformity with the guidelines specified by the Regulatory Authorities based on internationally accepted principles in line with the guidelines laid down by the international agencies.
Other Issues and Developments
The NPPs presently in operation are generating electricity at competitive tariffs. Measures to reduce construction period of NPPs, standardisation and scaling up unit sizes have been taken to further improve the economic competitiveness of nuclear power.
The nuclear power technology, as is evident from the excellent performance of the indigenously constructed plants of the first stage nuclear power programme, in India has matured. The current emphasis is on accelerating the growth of nuclear capacity addition. The factors receiving attention are:
Launching indigenously designed 700 MWe. PHWRs
Launching of AHWR 300 MWe- a technology demonstration project for utilisation of thorium for electricity generation.
Setting up large capacity LWRs based on imports
Focus on further enhancement of performance and safety of NPPs in operation
2.4. Supply of NPPs
India's first nuclear power station, Tarapur, was constructed by the International General Electric Co., USA based on a turnkey contract. The second nuclear power station at Rajasthan was built as a collaborative venture with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canada. For all subsequent nuclear power stations, DAE/NPCIL assumed total responsibility for design, manufacture, construction, commissioning and operation. NPCIL carries out the nuclear design. Balance of plant engineering is done by Indian Consulting Engineering firms (employed by NPCIL) who have expertise in the fossil thermal power plant engineering.
Manufacturing of most of the materials, components and equipment required for nuclear power plants is done indigenously. India has heavy engineering plants in both public and private sectors, manufacturing large steam generators, turbines, electrical equipment, heat exchangers, pumps, pressure vessels and other industrial equipment. The Indian Nuclear Power Programme utilizes these facilities for manufacture of nuclear and conventional equipment. In the early stage of the programme these facilities were augmented, whenever necessary, with balancing machinery and technical inputs to meet nuclear quality assurance requirements. Quality surveillance representatives of NPCIL are posted at the major manufacturer's shops for this purpose.
NPCIL integrates all the activities relating to setting up the nuclear power plant. It plays the role similar to that of a turnkey supplier. The strategy of adopting large EPC/supply-cum-erection packages has been adopted in the projects under construction with the growth of domestic industry. Fuel, heavy water, zircaloy components, reactor control equipment, are supplied by the various units of DAE from the facilities set up for this purpose.
Foreign suppliers of NPPs are involved in supplies of a major component of systems and equipment in respect of units set up in technical cooperation with foreign countries. In case of Kudankulam project, industries in Russia and other CIS are the major suppliers.
2.5. Operation of NPPs
NPCIL operates and maintains the NPPs in operation. Each station has Operation, Maintenance, Technical and Training Groups. These functions are carried out by specially trained and qualified operating and maintenance personnel at each nuclear power station. The NPPs include reactor components and process systems, turbine generators, electrical system equipment, instrumentation and control systems (I&C), cooling water intake and out fall structures, heavy water upgrading plant (at PHWR stations), waste management facilities and the like, to be operated and maintained. Whenever required, the services of equipment suppliers are availed through contracts for major maintenance and overhaul. Three groups of technical and scientific personnel are required for the nuclear power programme: qualified professionals, i.e., engineers and scientists who later become senior engineers and managers; semi-professionals having engineering diplomas or advanced trade certificates who constitute the supervisory personnel; and, technicians like operators and maintainers with high school education and trade certificates. Professionals get inducted into the Atomic Energy Organisation by completing one-year training course at the BARC training school in Trombay or its affiliates at Indore, Hyderabad and NTCs of NPCIL. Separate training programmes at different levels are conducted at the NPCIL's Nuclear Training Centres of operating stations for qualifying and licensing of operating personnel, as per the regulatory requirements. Training simulators are used to provide training in all aspects of operation, including handling of unusual incidents. Key operations personnel are also imparted rigorous training in various systems of the plant on training simulators.
NPCIL is a member of World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). WANO Peer Review of the nuclear power plants has been undertaken progressively by NPCIL. NPCIL is also a member of CANDU Owners Group (COG).
2.6. Decommissioning Information and Plans
No nuclear power reactors are planned as of now to be taken up for decommissioning. The emphasis is on plant life extension.
2.7. Fuel Cycle Including Waste Management
Fuel cycle and waste management services are provided by various units of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL), a public sector company of DAE, carries out mining and processing of uranium deposits surveyed by the Atomic Minerals Directorate of Exploration & Research (AMD) of DAE. New and innovative techniques like electromagnetic aerial survey capability to explore deep seated uranium deposits are being employed to enhance the uranium capacity. In addition, new mines are also being commissioned.
Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), an industrial unit of DAE, utilizes the uranium concentrates supplied by UCIL to fabricate PHWR's nuclear fuel assemblies. For the BWR's in Tarapur, NFC manufactures the fuel assemblies from imported uranium. NFC also supplies the required zircaloy components. Heavy water required for the initial charge and subsequent make-up requirements of the nuclear power plants are supplied by the Heavy Water Board of DAE.
Spent fuel from the PHWRs is reprocessed to extract the plutonium contained in it. Build up of plutonium inventory is vital for development of the second stage of the Indian nuclear power programme consisting of FBRs. The fuel reprocessing plants are set up by the BARC based on the technology developed by it. Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plants at Tarapur and Kalpakkam are operational.
Processes for treating reactor-produced wastes have been established and plants meeting regulatory requirements have been in operation during the past several decades. This is also the case with waste generated from fuel reprocessing plants. The first waste immobilization plant at Tarapur is in service and a Solid Storage Surveillance Facility (S3F) has also been set up for interim storage of waste. A Waste Immobilisation Plant (WIP) has been installed at Trombay and another WIP is under commissioning at Kalpakkam. R&D work for ultimate disposal of high level and alpha bearing wastes in a repository is in progress.
2.8. Research and Development
2.8.1. R&D Organizations and Institutes
BARC is a national research centre for multidisciplinary R&D work in nuclear sciences, reactor engineering, reactor safety, nuclear fuel, control and instrumentation, material science, spent fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste management, development of radiation technology applications etc. R&D work on development of the AHWR is in progress at this Centre and the prototype unit is expected to be launched in a few years. Development works on plant life extension, ageing and in-service inspection are given due importance.
IGCAR is responsible for R&D related to development of FBR technology. Technology development for the first 500 MW (e) PFBR has been completed and the construction of the reactor at Kalpakkam is being done by a corporation ‘BHAVINI’ set up especially for this purpose. BHAVINI draws technical expertise from IGCAR and project management expertise from NPCIL.
Atomic Mineral Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) at Hyderabad is responsible for survey, exploration and prospecting of atomic minerals, etc.
Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT) and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) carry out advanced research in Lasers, Accelerators and their applications.
Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) undertakes research in Plasma Physics and associated technologies.
The other R&D institutions of the DAE are carrying out advanced research work in hi-tech areas such as biosciences etc. and also in basic sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.
Academic Institutions and Universities also extend R&D support in specific areas as per needs.
The Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS) and the National Board of Higher Mathematics (NBHM) support research activities in national institutes and universities in the fields of nuclear science & technology and mathematics.
Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) is a "Deemed to be University" which provides the linkage between basic research and technology development in DAE.
2.8.2. Development of Advanced Nuclear Power Technologies
A number of initiatives have been taken on the development of new reactor systems. The details are as follows:
All PHWRs beyond those presently under construction are proposed to be of 700 MWe unit size. Design work on scaling up the 540 MWe unit PHWR to 700 MWe by permitting partial boiling in the channels, has been completed. The construction of four such units has been in progress.
The construction of the first 500 MWe PFBR is nearing completion. This will signify the launch of the second stage FBR programme in the country.
The 300 MWe AHWR design has been completed. This is a technology demonstration project for large-scale utilisation of thorium for electricity generation.
2.8.3. International Co-operation and Initiatives
International co-operation is through multilateral mechanism with IAEA as well as through bilateral mechanisms. Under the aegis of the IAEA, India has trained a number of personnel, particularly from the developing countries. India has also hosted a number of workshops, seminars and training courses. The expertise of Indian scientists and engineers is made available to other countries through IAEA.
NPCIL is a member of WANO Tokyo Centre, WANO Atlanta Centre and Candu Owners Group (COG). Many Indian professional have participated in the workshops/seminars/training courses, conducted by these organisations. Also many Indian professional have participated as Reviewer / Lead Reviewer in the WANO Peer Review of Plants abroad. NPCIL teams have also visited other NPPs outside India under the Technical Exchange Visit (TEV) programme of WANO. Similarly NPCIL plants have also received TEV team from other NPPs worldwide.
The details on international, multilateral and Bilateral Agreements are given in Annex-1.
2.9. Human Resources Development
Realising the importance of having well trained scientists and engineers in achieving success in the programme, a training school at BARC was established in August 1957. Subsequently, when the training needs for the operating nuclear power stations arose, the Nuclear Training Centres (NTC) were set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). To meet the expanding needs of Human Resources, Training Schools have also been set up at the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore (2000) and Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad (2001). NTCs and training schools at Hyderabad and Indore are affiliated to the BARC Training School with respect to training of engineers and scientists. Thus, human resource development has been given high importance from the early stages by the DAE. It has been further strengthened by setting up the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), a "Deemed to be University'.
3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS
3.1. Safety Authority and the Licensing Process
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) was formed in November 1983 by the Government of India in exercise of the powers conferred by the Atomic Energy Act of 1962, to carry out regulatory and safety functions as envisaged in the Act. As per its constitution, AERB has the power of the Competent Authority to enforce rules and regulations framed under the Atomic Energy Act for radiation safety in the country. AERB also has the authority to administer the provisions of the Factories Act, for industrial safety of the units of DAE. AERB has been delegated with powers to enforce some of the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act, at DAE installations. Prior to setting up of AERB, the DAE - Safety Review Committee (DAE-SRC) was carrying out these functions. DAE-SRC was supported by the Unit level Safety Committees.
Enforcement of safety related regulation at all nuclear facilities lies with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), empowered by the Government of India. The structure of the regulatory organisation is shown in Figure 2. The AERB conducts in-depth reviews so that nuclear facilities do not pose any radiological risk to the public and plant personnel. The authorisation process involves various major activities like site approval, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning. This process is an ongoing one starting with site selection and feasibility study, continuing through the construction and operation of the facility until the decommissioning of the plant. The applicant is required to provide all relevant information, such as safety principles, analysis, criteria and standards proposed for each major stages, and quality assurance demonstrating that the plant will not pose any undue radiological risks to site personnel and the public.
Figure 2. Organisational Chart of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
AERB has advisory committees for site selection, design review and authorisation, and licenses for commissioning. The advisory committees are assisted by unit level safety committees, which undertake detailed safety assessments at the design and commissioning stages of nuclear facilities. AERB then issues its authorisation based on the recommendations of the advisory committee. Safety assessments during plant operation are done by the Safety Committee for Operating Plants (SARCOP). Authorisation is granted only for a limited period and further authorisation is required beyond that period. Authorisation also includes explicit conditions that the applicant must adhere to. AERB also ensures that all the nuclear facilities have put in place an emergency preparedness procedure and organisation.
3.2. National Laws and Regulations in Nuclear Power
The Atomic Energy Act 1962 is the main law. This Act is amended in 2015. The various activities relating to the Indian atomic energy programme are governed by this Act. A number of rules, codes, and regulations covering the entire nuclear fuel cycle have been defined by AERB as well as DAE under the Atomic Energy Act of 1962, for instance:
Atomic Energy (Arbitration procedure) Rules, 1983;
Atomic Energy (Working of mines, minerals and handling of prescribed substances) Rules, 1984;
Atomic Energy (Safe disposal of radioactive waste) Rules, 1987;
Atomic Energy (Factories) Rules, 1996;
Atomic Energy (Control of irradiation of foods) Rules, 1996.
Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004.
Prescribed substances, Prescribed equipment and Technology, 2006.
Guidelines for Nuclear Transfers (Exports), 2006.
Exports of Nuclear and nuclear related items are regulated under the following legislations:
Atomic Energy Act 1962.
Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act 1992.
The weapons of Mass Destruction and their delivery systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act 2005.
APPENDIX 1: INTERNATIONAL, MULTILATERAL AND BILATERAL AGREEMENTS
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Important Recent Agreements with Other Countries:
IAEA Safeguards Agreement (02-Feb-2009)
APPENDIX 2: MAIN ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND COMPANIES INVOLVED IN NUCLEAR POWER RELATED ACTIVITIES
Name of report coordinator
Mr. RUDRARAJU Panduranga Raju,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC);
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
MUMBAI 400 085; Maharashtra; INDIA
Tel: 0091 22 25593852
Fax: 009122 255505151
Mr. Arun SRIVASTAVA
Nuclear Controls and Planning Wing,
Department of Atomic Energy,
O.Y.C. Building, C.S.M. Marg,
Mumbai 400001, Maharashtra, India
Phone: (O) +91-22-22023864, 22862550