India’s atomic power generation has more than doubled since 2008-09 to 32,000 million units last year after it was permitted into the club of nations allowed to participate in international nuclear commerce.

India’s nuclear power sector had produced 14,927 million units of electricity in 2008-09, the year when it signed an additional safeguards protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The IAEA approval came on August 1, 2008 and the next month, the Nuclear Suppliers Group granted India a waiver from its rules to participate in global nuclear trade.

As a result, nuclear power production increased steadily to 18,831 million units in 2009-10, 26,47 million units in 2010-11 and a record 32,455 million units in 2011-12, officials said.

“The conclusion of the international agreements on nuclear cooperation has enabled the import of fuel,” they said.

The availability of fuel also enabled the addition of 660 MW capacity by commissioning of three units - Rajasthan Atomic Power Plant units 5&6 in 2010 and Kaiga Generating Station unit-4 in 2011.

The signing of civil nuclear cooperation agreements has also opened up opportunities for setting up large capacity light water reactors based on foreign technical cooperation, officials said.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is building nuclear power plants with Russian cooperation at Kudankulam. It is also in talks with French and US companies for setting up atomic power plants at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh and Chhayamithi Virdi in Gujarat.

(This article was published on March 10, 2013)
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