Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said the present installed nuclear power capacity in the country is 7480 MW comprising of 23 nuclear power reactors. Stating this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Dr Jitendra Singh said nuclear power reactors generated 46982 million Units of electricity (including infirm generation) in the year 2022-23.
Dr Jitendra Singh said the share of nuclear power in the total electricity generation in the country was about 2.8% in the year 2022-23. The details are given in annexure.
The present installed nuclear power capacity is set to increase from 7480 MW to 22480 MW by 2031 on progressive completion of projects under construction and accorded sanction. The Government has also accorded ‘in principle’ approval for new sites to set up nuclear reactors in future, he said.
Uses of nuclear technology in India
India has a well-established and diverse nuclear technology program that serves various purposes, ranging from power generation to applications in medicine, agriculture, industry, and scientific research. Here are some of the primary uses of nuclear technology in India:
Nuclear Power Generation: Nuclear power plays a significant role in India’s energy mix. The country has several nuclear power plants that generate electricity through nuclear fission. These plants help in providing a stable and reliable source of energy to meet the growing electricity demands and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
Research Reactors: India has research reactors that support scientific research, medical isotope production, and neutron scattering experiments for various applications.
Medical Applications: Nuclear technology is widely used in the medical field for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. Nuclear medicine techniques, such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), aid in the diagnosis and treatment of various medical conditions, including cancer, heart diseases, and neurological disorders.
Radioisotope Production: Nuclear reactors and accelerators are used to produce radioisotopes that have multiple applications, including in healthcare (diagnostics and cancer treatment), industrial radiography, and agriculture (pest control and plant breeding).
Industrial Applications: Nuclear technology finds applications in industrial processes such as radiography for non-destructive testing of materials, as well as in gauging and monitoring systems.
Agricultural Applications: Nuclear techniques are employed in agriculture for pest control, soil fertility assessment, and the development of improved crop varieties through mutation breeding.
Water Resource Management: Nuclear technology is used to study and manage water resources through isotopic techniques that help understand groundwater flow patterns and assess water quality.
Space Research: Nuclear technology has been utilized in space missions for power generation in space probes, like the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan), which uses radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs).
Scientific Research: Nuclear facilities are employed in fundamental scientific research, including nuclear physics experiments, nuclear astrophysics, and material science research.
It’s important to note that the use of nuclear technology requires strict safety and regulatory measures to prevent any potential risks and ensure the safe handling and disposal of nuclear materials. India has a comprehensive regulatory framework overseen by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to ensure the safe and secure use of nuclear technology across various sectors.