Nuclear plants could find themselves even in central parts of cities in the future, thanks to scientific and technological improvements in reactor design.
“The design of the 300-MW advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) would be such that even in the worst of the accidents, there would be no long-term impact on the people near the plant,” SA Bhardwaj, director (Technical), Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), said. Once this is done, nuclear plants can be constructed anywhere — even in the heart of densely populated cities, he added.The technology, however, would first have to be tested and proved, Bhardwaj said. "We are planning to take up construction of such plants in the 12th Plan. This could be at an existing site, such as the area adjacent to the nuclear power plants in Tarapur."
The advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) is the latest Indian design for a next-generation nuclear reactor that will burn thorium in its fuel core. It is slated to form the third stage in India’s three-stage fuel cycle plan.
The AHWR is a vertical pressure tube-type reactor cooled by boiling light water under natural circulation.