India will begin construction of its 25th nuclear power plant with the first pour of concrete for the 700 MW indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) in Rawatbhata on Monday.
The 700 MW PHWR will be the seventh nuclear plant at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), which already has an installed capacity of 1,180 MW from six units - the largest from a single site.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) currently operates 20 nuclear power plants across six sites and has an installed capacity of 4,780 MW.
The excavation work for the Unit 7 at RAPS started on August 19 2010 and the NPCIL hopes to start commercial operations by June 2016. The first pour of concrete for Unit 8 here is expected later this year.
The Centre had given a financial sanction of Rs 24,000 crore in October 2009 for building four units of 700 MW of PHWRs - two each at Kakrapar and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan.
The 700-MW PHWR has been designed by NPCIL by scaling up its 540 MW PHWRs under operation at Tarapur since 2005. The NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW VVER type nuclear power plants at Kudankulam and two 700 MW PHWRs at Kakrapar in Gujarat. Unit 1 and 2 at Kudankulam are expected to be operational by August this year and May next year, respectively.
Both the 700 MW units at Kakrapar are expected to start producing power by 2015 end. With the progressive completion of the Kudankulam reactors and the four 700 MW PHWRs at Kakrapar and Rawatbhata, the installed nuclear power capacity of NPCIL is expected to reach 9,580 MW by 2016.