India had 4.8 GW of installed electricity generation capacity using nuclear fuels. India’s Nuclear plants generated 32455 million units or 3.75% of total electricity produced in India.
India’s nuclear power plant development began in 1964. India signed an agreement with General Electric of the United States for the construction and commissioning of two boiling water reactors at Tarapur. In 1967, this effort was placed under India’s Department of Atomic Energy. In 1971, India set up its first pressurised heavy water reactors with Canadian collaboration in Rajasthan. In 1987, India created Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited to commercialise nuclear power.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is a public sector enterprise, wholly owned by the Government of India, under the administrative control of its Department of Atomic Energy. Its objective is to implement and operate nuclear power stations for India’s electricity sector. The state-owned company has ambitious plans to establish 63 GW generation capacity by 2032, as a safe, environmentally benign and economically viable source of electrical energy to meet the increasing electricity needs of India.
India’s nuclear power generation effort satisfies many safeguards and oversights, such as getting ISO-14001 accreditation for environment management system and peer review by World Association of Nuclear Operators including a pre-start up peer review. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited admits, in its annual report for 2011, that its biggest challenge is to address the public and policy maker perceptions about the safety of nuclear power.
In 2011, India had 18 pressurised heavy water reactors in operation, with another four projects of 2.8 GW capacity launched. The country plans to implement fast breeder reactors, using plutonium based fuel. Plutonium is obtained by reprocessing spent fuel of first stage reactors. India successfully launched its first prototype fast breeder reactor of 500 MW capacity in Tamil Nadu, and now operates two such reactors.
India has nuclear power plants operating in the following states: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These reactors have an installed electricity generation capacity between 100 to 540 MW each. New reactors with installed capacity of 1000 MW per reactor are expected to be in use by 2012.