India needs to go nuclear
- October 12, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
India needs to go nuclear
Subject: Science and Tech
Section: Nuclear technology
Energy requirement for India:
- India’s economy is growing rapidly and is expected to surpass Germany and Japan and move up from number five to number three position before the end of this decade.
- India’s primary energy consumption is the third-highest globally. Most of this is based on fossil energy.
- To reach a Human Development Index (HDI) comparable to advanced countries we need a minimum of 2,400 kilogram oil equivalent (kgoe) energy consumption per capita per year.
- The total clean energy requirement to support a developed India would work out to around 25,000 – 30,000 TWhr/yr. This is more than four times our present energy consumption and corresponds to a CAGR of around 4.8 per cent.
Six-pronged national strategy for a rapid scale up of nuclear energy:
- Indigenous 700 MWe
- Recently, the third unit of the indigenously developed 700-megawatt electric (MWe) nuclear power reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP3) in Gujarat has commenced operations at full capacity.
- PHWR Fifteen more such units are already under construction in fleet mode.
- Secondly, build indigenous Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).
- Thirdly, well-proven 220 MWe PHWR units
- AHWR300-LEU developed by BARC can also be offered for this role after demonstrating a prototype.
- Fourthly, develop a high temperature reactor for direct hydrogen production without resorting to electrolysis to enable cheaper green hydrogen production.
- Speed up second and third stage nuclear-power programme development to unleash thorium energy potential in accordance with the pre-existing plans for long-term sustainable energy supply.
- Finally, emerging-economy countries, where one expects maximum net growth in energy consumption, should see rapid deployment of new nuclear-energy capacity to credibly address the climate-change challenge at the global level.
Small modular reactors (SMRs):
- These are advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) per unit, which is about one-third of the generating capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors. SMRs, which can produce a large amount of low-carbon electricity, are:
- Small – physically a fraction of the size of a conventional nuclear power reactor.
- Modular – making it possible for systems and components to be factory-assembled and transported as a unit to a location for installation.
- Reactors – harnessing nuclear fission to generate heat to produce energy.
- The CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) is a Canadian pressurized heavy-water reactor design used to generate electric power.
- The acronym refers to its deuterium oxide (heavy water) moderator and its use of (originally, natural) uranium fuel. CANDU reactors were first developed in the late 1950s and 1960s by a partnership between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, Canadian General Electric, and other companies.
- By 2010, CANDU-based reactors were operational at the following sites of India: Kaiga (3), Kakrapar (2), Madras (2), Narora (2), Rajasthan (6), and Tarapur (2).
Pressurized heavy Water Reactor (PHWR):
- A pressurized heavy-water reactor (PHWR) is a nuclear reactor that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and neutron moderator.
- PHWRs frequently use natural uranium as fuel, but sometimes also use very low enriched uranium.
- The high cost of the heavy water is offset by the lowered cost of using natural uranium and/or alternative fuel cycles.
- As of the beginning of 2001, 31 PHWRs were in operation, having a total capacity of 16.5 GW(e), representing roughly 7.76% by number and 4.7% by generating capacity of all current operating reactors.
Thorium- HALEU fuel:
- The National laboratory is testing thorium and high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) developed by Clean Core Thorium Energy for use in pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs).
Clean Core Thorium Energy:
- A Chicago-based company, Clean Core was founded in 2017.
- Investing nearly a decade exploring thorium driven power, our founders envisioned a revolutionary solution to nuclear’s safety, waste, and proliferation concerns.
- Developed by Clean Core:
- Thorium- HALEU fuel
- ANEEL Fuel: Advanced Nuclear Energy for Enriched Life- developed for use in pressurized heavy water and Candu reactors.
- Benefits of ANEEL fuel:
- Cost: By achieving greater output within existing safety margins, ANEEL Fuel substantially reduces operating costs of existing reactors
- Size: Through optimization for use in existing small modular reactors, ANEEL Fuel offers an ideal fit for emerging nations equipped with small grid sizes
- Waste: Through high burnup fuel performance, ANEEL Fuel reduces nuclear waste generation by 87.5% and reduces waste storage volume
- Proliferation: By ensuring proliferation resistance using thorium in ANEEL Fuel, nuclear capacity can be deployed to nations that were previously unaddressable
Source: Indian Express