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India to construct small modular reactors of 300 MW capacity

December 6, 2022 4:02 pm

India to construct small modular reactors of 300 MW capacity

India is making efforts to construct small modular reactors (SMR) with a capacity of up to 300 MW. The said development is expected to fulfil the government’s commitment to transitioning into a clean energy country. 

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, while addressing a workshop on small modular reactors (SMR) organised by NITI Aayog and the Department of Atomic Energy, highlighted the need to explore the participation of the private sector and start-ups in the development of this critical technology within India. He emphasised that technology sharing and the availability of funding are the two crucial links for ensuring the commercial availability of SMR technology.

Exploration of new clean energy options is in tune with Prime Minister Modi’s roadmap for a clean energy transition through bold climate commitments, which are reflected in our updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Dr. Jitendra Singh pointed out that as we have already taken steps for a clean energy transition with the penetration of non-fossil-based energy resources and achieving net-zero by 2070, nuclear in terms of baseload power can play a big role in the decarbonisation strategy. In this context, the Minister added, nuclear energy’s role will be critical for the world’s clean energy transition, not just for India.

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Small modular reactors (SMR), with up to 300 MW of capacity, are flexible in design and require a smaller footprint. Being a mobile and agile technology, SMRs can be factory-built, unlike conventional nuclear reactors that are built on-site. Thus, SMRs offer significant savings in cost and construction time. SMR is a promising technology in industrial de-carbonization, especially where there is a requirement for a reliable and continuous power supply. It is said that SMR is simpler and safer as compared to large nuclear plants.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said an impressive number of measures have been taken to promote renewable energy in the country, and India stands at number four in the installed RE capacity across the world, after China, Europe, and the United States. He added that these measures also conform to the Prime Minister’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat goal, where India contributes significant value to the global value chain.

It must be noted that India, which comprises 17 percent of the world population, has seen its primary energy grow at a rate of 4 percent during the last decade, almost double the global growth rate of 1.3 percent. However, by historical standards, our share of global emissions is less than 5 percent.

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