Seventy years since the constitution of the Atomic Energy Commission in 1948, the total installed capacity of nuclear power in India has reached 6,780 MWe, comprising 22 nuclear reactors.
The installed capacity is expected to increase gradually, to 22,480 MW (including PFBR, 500 MW being implemented by Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited [BHAVINI]) by 2031 on progressive completion of projects under construction and accorded administrative approval & financial sanction by the Government of India.
The low installed capacity base of nuclear power in the country is mainly on account of the technology development in an international embargo regime that persisted from 1974 to 2008 and constraint of resources faced during the initial decades of the nuclear power programme, as it had to depend solely on budgetary support. The low share of nuclear power in the total installed capacity is on account of its low capacity base.
The average tariff of nuclear power in the financial year 2016-17 was Rs 2.95 per unit, with tariffs of stations ranging from Rs 1.07 in case of the oldest station TAPS 1&2 to Rs 4.10 in respect of the latest station, KKNPP 1&2. The present tariff norms for nuclear power are based on recovery of relevant costs and a return on equity of 15.5%, to be grossed up with normal tax rate applicable during each year of the tariff period. The norms are similar to that notified by various Electricity Regulatory Commissions for other electricity generating technologies.
Nuclear is a clean, environment friendly base load source of power available 24X7. It also has huge potential which will ensure long term energy security of the country in a sustainable manner. Therefore nuclear energy is an important component of the country’s energy mix and is being pursued along with other sources of energy in an optimal manner.
This was stated by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha today.