Unit 4 of the Kaiga nuclear power plant in Karnataka state started up on November 27th , and is likely to be connected to India’s grid in January 2011. This is the last of the original 220 MWe largely indigenously-designed reactors, and the Nuclear Power Corporation is now building 700 MWe versions, as well as imported designs. Its twin is nine months ahead of it, but both have been delayed due to shortage of uranium. The Kaiga units are not under UN safeguards so cannot use imported uranium. The reactor will be synchronized to the grid after carrying out additional tests prior to December 31, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said. Electricity generated by Kaiga 4 will be supplied to the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Pudducherry.
India now has installed nuclear generating capacity of 4780 MWe and ranks sixth in the world – behind the USA, France, Japan, Russia and South Korea – in terms of the number of reactors in operation. Further reactors are nearing completion in India. Two Russian technology 1000 MWe light water reactors (LWRs) at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, as well as the domesticall designed and built 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam, also in Tamil Nadu, are at advanced stages of completion. In addition, construction of four indigenously designed 700 MWe PHWRs – two each at Kakrapar in Gujarat and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan – is set to begin during the current year.
With the completion of all these plants, India’s nuclear generating capacity will reach 7280 MWe by 21012, and 10,080 MWe by 2017.