Addressing the 57th general conference of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) here, he said India is planning to construct a total of 20 more Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) of 700 MWe each due to their highly competitive capital cost per KWe and a low unit energy cost. At present 14 such reactors are under operation.

The KNPP in Tamil Nadu has been embroiled in a controversy and delayed in the wake of agitation led by People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) against the project citing environment and safety concerns.

Noting that the Indian nuclear power sector has registered over 379 reactors years of safe operation, Sinha said that the international community has learnt its lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and come out with guidelines for enhanced safety of nuclear reactors.

"India is committed to implement the highest standards of the safety of Indian nuclear power plants and associated fuel cycle facilities,” Sinha said.

He said that the construction of four indigenously designed 700 MWe Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) - two each at existing sites of Kakrapar in Gujarat and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan is progressing on schedule.

"India is planning to construct sixteen more PHWRs of 700 MWe at five different islands," Sinha said, as PHWRs offer a highly competitive capital cost per KWe and a low unit energy cost.

The Atomic Energy Agency chief said that the average annual availability of Indian nuclear power plants has remained at 90 percent and six of the 19 reactors currently under operation in the country have logged continuous operation of more than 300 days during the year.

Talking about the Rajasthan nuclear plant, he said that a follow-up of the IAEA Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) mission is planned in 2014. "Preparation and planning for inviting IAEA's Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) for peer review of our regulatory system is also in progress and India will approach the Agency in due course with a request to undertake the mission," Sinha said.


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