India will add a total of 9.4 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear power capacity in the coming areas over the present installed capacity of around 6.7 GW with projects of 8.7 GW under construction and another 700 megawatts (MW) to come later, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

The present installed nuclear power capacity comprises 22 reactors with a total capacity of 6,780 MW. In addition, one reactor, KAPP-3 (700 MW) has also been connected to the grid, Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh said in a written response to a query in Lok Sabha.

“In addition to the 11 reactors (8,700 MW) under construction, the government has accorded administrative approval and financial sanction for construction of 10 indigenous 700 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) to be set up in fleet mode. The government has also accorded in principle approval for five new sites for setting up nuclear power plants in the future,” he added.

The tariffs of electricity generated by nuclear power are comparable to those of contemporary conventional base load generators like thermal power, Singh, who is also the MoS for the Department of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, added.

“Highest priority is accorded to safety in all aspects of nuclear power viz. siting, design, construction, commissioning, and operation. Nuclear power plants are designed adopting safety principles of redundancy, diversity and provide fail-safe design features following a defence-in-depth approach,” the Minister informed the lower house.

The equipment installed in nuclear power plants meets the highest safety and quality standards. They undergo extensive testing during the commissioning phase before start of operation of the plant. Further their health is ensured through a well-established surveillance, monitoring and preventive maintenance programme, Singh noted.