NTPC and NPCIL Sign An Agreement for Joint Development of Nuclear Power Plants

On May 1, India made further strides towards clean energy sources as the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) signed a supplementary joint venture agreement with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). 

The agreement aims to develop nuclear power projects in the country, with a focus on two pressurised heavy-water reactor (PHWR) projects: the Chutka Madhya Pradesh Atomic Power Project (2×700 MW) and the Mahi Banswara Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (4×700 MW). These projects were identified as part of fleet mode nuclear projects.

About the Project

  • The Chutka and Mahi Banswara nuclear projects in India will be developed by NTPC and NPCIL through a joint venture named ASHVINI (Anushakti Vidhyut Nigam Limited).
  • The Chutka project is expected to cost around Rs. 25,000 crore, while the Mahi Banswara project will cost around Rs. 50,000 crore.
  • NTPC aims to operationalize 3.5 GW of capacity from the two nuclear power plants currently being built by 2030.
  • India’s government has approved the installation of 10 nuclear reactors to meet the country’s increasing energy demand.
  • These reactors will be established at four locations: two each at Kaiga (Karnataka), Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), and Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), and four at Mahi Banswara (Rajasthan).
  • The 10 reactors are expected to produce a total of 7,000 MW and will be built in fleet mode by 2031 at a cost of Rs. 1,05,000 crore.

India’s Nuclear Power Capacity and the Push for Clean Energy

  • India’s current installed nuclear power capacity is 6,780 MW, which is just 2% of the country’s total energy mix, including thermal, hydro, and renewables.
  • The Indian government has approved the installation of 10 nuclear reactors in fleet mode to meet the country’s growing power demand, at a cost of Rs. 1,05,000 crores. These reactors are expected to generate a total of 7,000 MW and will be set up progressively by 2031.
  • By 2031, India is projected to have a nuclear capacity of 22,480 MW.
  • Developing nuclear power projects is a crucial step for India to achieve its commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2070.
  • Nuclear energy is a zero-emission clean energy source that generates power through fission by splitting uranium atoms to produce energy.
  • The heat released by fission is used to create steam that spins a turbine, generating electricity without harmful by-products emitted by fossil fuels

About Pressurized Heavy-Water Reactor (PHWR)

  • A pressurized heavy-water reactor (PHWR) is a type of nuclear reactor that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as a moderator and coolant. 
  • It is also known as a heavy-water reactor (HWR). 
  • The PHWR uses natural uranium oxide fuel (UO2) as its fuel, which is relatively cheap and abundant. 
  • The PHWR is commonly used in countries such as Canada, India, and Pakistan for generating electricity. 
  • It is a type of thermal-neutron-spectrum nuclear reactor, which means that it uses slow neutrons to sustain the nuclear chain reaction.

About Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited

  • The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is a public sector enterprise owned by the Indian government. 
  • It was founded in 1987 and is responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, operation, and maintenance of nuclear power plants in India. 
  • NPCIL operates 22 commercial nuclear power reactors with a total capacity of 6,780 MW, accounting for around 1.8% of India’s total electricity generation. 
  • It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

About National Thermal Power Corporation

  • The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is an Indian government-owned electricity board that operates in the power generation, distribution, and trading sectors. 
  • NTPC is the largest power company in India in terms of installed capacity, and it generates power from coal, gas, hydro, solar, wind, and nuclear sources. 
  • The company was established in 1975 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
  • NTPC plans to produce nuclear energy of 2,000 MW by 2032, 4,200 MW by 2035, and ultimately ramp up to 20,000 MW by 2050.
    • They plan to do this by using pressurised heavy-water reactors (PHWRs) and small modular reactors. 
    • The company is also preparing to secure fuel supplies by partnering with the Uranium Corporation of India Limited.
  • NTPC Limited has been ranked No.1 Independent Power Producers and Energy Traders Globally in the S&P Global Commodity Insights Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings-2022.
    • The rankings were based on four key metrics – asset worth, revenues, profits and return on investment.
  • NTPC currently contributes 24% of the total electricity produced in India.
  • By 2032, NTPC aims to have non-fossil fuel-based capacity make up nearly 50% of its portfolio, which includes renewable energy capacity of 60 GW and a total portfolio of 130GW.
  • The company is leading India’s energy transition in terms of scale, efficiency, and energy generation from cleaner and greener sources.
  • NTPC has teamed up with NITI Aayog for the Net Energy Zero effort.


  • Shubham Mittal

    Shubham Mittal is a renowned current affairs writer and expert in government exam preparation, inspiring readers with insightful articles and guiding aspirants with his expertise.

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