(Updated 2009)(*)


1.1 General Overview

India occupies a strategic position in Asia with a distinct geographical identity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and from Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and Arabian Sea on the west. India has seven major physiographic regions: Northern Mountains viz. the Himalayas; The Indo Gangetic Plain; Central Highlands; Peninsular Plateau; East Coast; West Coast; Bordering Seas; and Islands. Major part of the land surface is plateau.

The demographic data is given in Table 1 and the GDP data is given in Table 2 below.


Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Population (million) 688.9 835.1 1,014.8 1,094.6 1,155.4 1.96 1.45
Population Density (inhabitants/ 209.5 254.0 308.7 332.9 351.4 1.96 1.45
Urban Population as % of total (4) 25.7 28.4 30
Area (1000 km2) 3287.3


Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
GDP (millions of constant 2000 US$) 153 875 270 225 461 346 641 926 874 940 5.64 7.37
GDP per capita (2000 US$/capita) 223 324 455 586 757 3.62 5.83
PPP (millions of constant 2000 int$) 810 190 1 445 366 2 460 693 3 412 870 4 566 960 5.71 7.11
PPP per capita (2000 int$/capita) 1 176 1 731 2 425 3 118 3 953 3.68 5.58

Average annual growth rate (%)
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 1990 to 2006
GDP(1) 406 624 439 086 462 208 535 452 655 427 724 870 859 605 14.38
GDP per Capita(2) 402 428 443 506 610 655 774 12.57
Exch Rate US$-- Rs 43.33 47.69 48.8 47.5 44.93 44.27 44.09

Million Current US$ (at factor cost and current prices).

Current US$ (at factor cost and current prices).


The energy resources are unevenly distributed in the country and are mainly used for power generation, transport and industrial and domestic uses. Table 3 shows the overall energy reserves and Table 4 the basic energy situation.

Based on a systematic survey carried out, the hydro electric potential in the country is estimated at 600 billion kilowatt hours annually corresponding to a name plate capacity of 150,000 MWe. On 31.03.2007 the total installed hydro power capacity with utilities was about 34476 MWe (i.e. about 20% of the total potential). A capacity addition of about 30,000 MWe has been planned over the XI and XII Plans (2007-2012-2017). More than 70% of the total hydro potential in the country is located in the northern and north-eastern regions put together. Coal, oil, natural gas and lignite are used for thermal power generation. As on January 1, 2007, the geological reserves of coal are estimated to be about 255 billion tonnes out of which the proven reserves are about 96 billion tonnes and economically mineable reserves are 52 billion tonnes*. Proven lignite reserves suitable for power generation are estimated at about 4.2 billion tonnes and are being exploited for this purpose. As on January 1, 2007 recoverable reserves of crude oil are placed at about 756 million tonnes and of natural gas at about 1075 billion cubic meters.

* Ministry of Coal, Government of India, Annual Report 2006-07


Estimated energy reserves in (*) (Solid and Liquid in million tons, Uranium in metric tons, Gas in billion cubic metres, Hydro in TWhr per year)
Solid (1) Liquid (2) Gas (3) Uranium (4) Hydro (5)
Amount 60,600 740 1,074 0 660,000

(*) Sources: 20th WEC Survey of Energy Resources, 2004 and Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand ("Red Book")

(1) Coal including Lignite: proved recoverable reserves, the tonnage within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology

(2) Crude oil and natural gas liquids (Oil Shale, Natural Bitumen and Extra-Heavy Oil are not included): proved recoverable reserves, the quantity within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology

(3) Natural gas: proved recoverable reserves, the volume within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology

(4) Reasonably Assured Resources (RAR) under < USD 130/kgU

(5) Hydropower: technically exploitable capability, the amount of the gross theoretical capability that can be exploited within the limits of current technology

Estimated energy reserves (Exajoule) (1)
Solid (2) Liquid Gas Nuclear Hydro (3) Total (4)
Total proven amount in place (1-1-2006) 1744 32 41 2.16 (e) 1817

(1) BP Statistica review of world energy 2006 ( Calorific Value of (i) Coal = 4,200 kcal/kg, (ii) Lignite = 2,800 kcal/kg, (iii) Oil = 10,200 kcal/kg, (iv) Gas = 9,150 kcal/m3.

(2) Proven Coal (year 2006) and Lignite (year 2006) Reserves (Coal- Annual Report 2006-07, Ministry of coal, Lignite- Annual General Meeting Report , September 2007.

(3) Hydro Source in electricity units . Annual production of 150GWe at Plant Load factor of 46%.

(4) Does not include Hydro (being renewable) and nuclear.

Uranium reserves in the country are estimated to be about 95,000 tonnes (metal). It does not include reserves in speculative category. After accounting for various losses in mining, milling and fabrication, the net uranium available for power generation is estimated to be about 61,000 tonnes (metal). One of the largest resources of thorium in the world is contained in monazite deposits (about 8 million tonnes) in India mainly along the Indian seacoast. Out of this about 4 million tonnes is considered exploitable of which 70% is considered mineable containing about 2,25,000 tonnes of thorium metal.

The estimated power generation potential from non-conventional renewable energy resources is about 100,000 MW. This includes 45,000 MW from wind, 15,000 MW from small hydro, 19,500 MW from bio-mass/biomass-cogeneration, 2,700 MW from urban and industrial waste etc. Thermal applications of such resources include solar thermal systems, biogas plants, improved biomass cooking stoves etc.

1.2 Energy Policy

The Integrated Energy Policy of the Government of India aims at ensuring in a judicious manner adequate energy supplies at an optimum cost, achieving self-sufficiency in energy supplies and protecting the environment from the adverse impact of utilizing energy resources. The main elements of the Energy Policy are:

  1. Accelerated exploitation of all domestic conventional energy sources, viz. coal, hydro, oil/gas and nuclear power in an environmentally sustainable manner;

  2. Energy conservation and Management with a view to increasing energy productivity;

  3. Optimizing the utilisation of existing capacity in the country by using high efficiency machines and processes in the entire gamut of energy related operations like mining, generation, transmission, industrial processes, transport, etc;

  4. Adoption of ‘clean coal’ and related technologies to contain GHG emissions;

  5. Accelerated development of nuclear and hydro-electricity;

  6. Development and exploitation of renewable sources of energy including bio-fuels and fuel plantations to meet the energy requirement of both urban and rural communities;

  7. Intensification of research and development activities in the field of energy, with infusion of sufficient capital by setting up a "National Energy Fund";

  8. Organisation of training for the personnel engaged at various levels in the energy sector.


(Energy values are in Exajoule exept where indicated) Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
Total Energy Requirements 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 6.24 11.31 17.93 24.89 31.46 5.42 6.45
Solids 2.79 5.26 8.69 10.88 14.62 5.85 5.95
Liquids 1.33 2.46 4.84 5.20 7.30 6.69 4.67
Gases 0.05 0.43 0.89 1.03 1.61 15.43 6.75
Hydro 0.17 0.26 0.27 0.37 0.38 2.37 4.12
Nuclear 0.03 0.07 0.18 0.19 0.20 9.03 1.09
Combustible Renewables and Waste 1.87 2.83 3.04 7.23 7.31 2.46 10.22
Other Renewables > -0.01 < 0.01 < 0.01 < 0.01 0.04 ? 25.44
Final Energy Consumption 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 5.22 10.11 13.79 20.54 24.36 4.98 6.53
Solids 2.70 5.05 7.85 10.18 13.25 5.49 5.99
Liquids 0.40 1.48 1.55 1.55 1.61 7.05 0.37
Gases 0.05 0.43 0.89 1.03 1.61 15.43 6.75
Hydro 0.17 0.26 0.27 0.37 0.38 2.37 4.12
Nuclear 0.03 0.07 0.18 0.19 0.20 9.03 1.09
Combustible Renewables and Waste 1.87 2.83 3.04 7.23 7.31 2.46 10.23
Other Renewables .. < 0.01 .. .. .. .. ..
Net Import (Export-Import) 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 0.98 1.27 4.02 4.75 6.97 7.31 6.30
Solids < 0.01 0.15 0.65 0.95 1.78 25.32 11.90
Liquids 0.97 1.11 3.37 3.79 5.16 6.40 4.85
Gases .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Combustible Renewables and Waste < 0.01 > -0.01 > -0.01 > -0.01 > -0.01 ? 54.60

Years represent financial years from 1st April of the year to 31st March of the next year

(1) Energy consumption = Energy Production + Net Import (Import - Export)

(2) Solid Fuels include coal, lignite and estimated commercial wood. The consumption of wood is assumed to remain constant at 3.134 EJ. Ref: S.K. Varma, "Coal- A predominant option" Proc.Power in the New Millenium: Palns & Strategies. Indian Nuclear Society, August 31-September 2,1999

(3) Primary Electricity = Hydro + Geothermal + Nuclear + Wind

(4) Annual Reports 2004-05 of the Ministries of Power, Coal, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Ministry of Renewable Energy Sources and Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India.

(5) Solid Fuel, except commercial wood, liquid and gas data is for 9 Months (Apr -Dec 2005)

1.3 Electricity Sector

Electricity is a concurrent subject as per the Constitution of India implying that both the Parliament and the State Legislature have the authority to legislate on the subject. The structure of the electricity sector derives its character and composition from the Indian constitution and till recently was mainly defined by the following Acts:

  1. Indian Electricity Act of 1910 legislated over the supply and use of electrical energy in India.

  2. Indian Electricity (Supply) Act of 1948 enacted in order to secure a fully coordinated development of electricity on a regional basis.

  3. Electricity Regulatory Commission Act, 1998 had been enacted with a view to providing for the establishment of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERC).

For speedy reforms in the power sector with the goal of electrifying all the villages by 2007 and all the households by 2012 and to modernise the sector, the Electricity Bill 2003 has been enacted on June 10, 2003.

Electricity Act 2003 (Ref.

This act consolidates all electricity legislations (Central and State) into one comprehensive binding act. It seeks to create a liberal framework of development for the power sector by distancing Government from regulation. The objectives of the Act are "to consolidate the laws relating to generation, transmission, distribution, trading and use of electricity and generally for taking measures conducive to development of electricity industry, promoting competition therein, protecting interest of consumers and supply of electricity to all areas, rationalization of electricity tariff, ensuring transparent policies regarding subsidies, promotion of efficient and environmentally benign policies, constitution of Central Electricity Authority, Regulatory Commissions and establishment of Appellate Tribunal and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto."

The salient features of the Act are as follows:

  1. The Central Government to prepare a National Electricity Policy in consultation with State Governments. (Section 3)

  2. Thrust to complete the rural electrification and provide for management of rural distribution by Panchayats (local governing bodies), Cooperative Societies, non-Government organisations, franchisees etc. (Sections 4, 5 & 6)

  3. Provision for licence free generation and distribution in the rural areas. (Section 14)

  4. Generation being delicensed and captive generation being freely permitted. Hydro projects would, however, need clearance from the Central Electricity Authority. (Sections 7, 8 & 9)

  5. Transmission Utility at the Central as well as State level, to be a Government company - with responsibility for planned and coordinated development of transmission network. (Sections 38 & 39)

  6. Provision for private licensees in transmission and entry in distribution through an independent network, (Section 14)

  7. Open access in transmission from the outset. (Sections 38-40)

  8. Open access in distribution to be introduced in phases with surcharge for current level of cross subsidy to be gradually phased out along with cross subsidies and obligation to supply. SERCs to frame regulations within one year regarding phasing of open access. (Section 42)

  9. Distribution licensees would be free to undertake generation and generating companies would be free to take up distribution businesses. (Sections 7, 12)

  10. The State Electricity Regulatory Commission is a mandatory requirement. (Section 82)

  11. Provision for payment of subsidy through budget. (Section 65)

  12. Trading, a distinct activity is being recognised with the safeguard of the Regulatory Commissions being authorised to fix ceilings on trading margins, if necessary. (Sections 12, 79 & 86)

  13. Provision for reorganisation or continuance of SEBs. (Sections 131 & 172)

  14. Metering of all electricity supplied made mandatory. (Section 55)

  15. An Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals against the decision of the CERC and SERCs. (Section 111)

  16. Provisions relating to theft of electricity made more stringent. (Section 135-150)

  17. Provisions safeguarding consumer interests. (Sections 57-59, 166) Ombudsman scheme (Section 42) for consumers grievance redressal.

The Ministry of Power, Government of India (GOI), is responsible for the administration of the above act and to undertake such amendments to the Act, as may be necessary from time to time, in conformity with the policy objectives of GOI.

The electricity generating companies in the Central Sector are:

  1. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) responsible for construction and operation of fossil thermal power plants in the various power regions under the administrative control of Ministry of Power;

  2. The National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) responsible for establishing and operating regional hydroelectric power plants under the administrative control of Ministry of Power;

  3. North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) responsible for establishing and operating thermal and hydro power plants in the North Eastern Region under the administrative control of Ministry of Power;

  4. Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) responsible for establishing and operating thermal power plants based on lignite reserves at Neyveli in the Southern region, under the administrative control of Ministry of Coal;

  5. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) responsible for nuclear power generation under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

  6. A new company Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (BHAVINI) was incorporated to set up fast reactors in October 2003. This is also under the administrative control of the DAE.

The Government of India has also taken up two joint ventures:

  1. Nathpa-Jhakri Power Corporation (NJPC), responsible for the execution of the Nathpa-Jhakri Hydroelectric Project which is being developed as a joint venture of the Central Government and the Government of Himachal Pradesh.

  2. Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC), a joint venture of the Central Government and the Government of Uttar Pradesh to execute the Tehri Hydro Power Complex.

Two statutory bodies i.e. the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) are also under the administrative control of Ministry of Power.

The generation through non-conventional renewable energy sources comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, GOI.

There are also non-utilities with captive generating capacities.

The Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) under the administrative control of Ministry of Power, provides financial assistance to the programmes of rural electrification.

The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) provides term finance to projects in the power sector.

The PTC (Power Trading Corporation) is an entity established to serve as a single point of contract for entering into power purchase agreements with independent power producers on the one hand and the consumers or state utilities on the other.

India is divided into five Electricity Regions; namely, Northern, North Eastern, Eastern, Western and Southern. For each region, a Regional Electricity Board is constituted. This is essentially to provide guidelines for operation of the grid, co-ordinate exchanges of power between states and regions. The Regional Electricity Board also reviews progress of schemes and plan generation schedule.

The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) has established and operates Regional and National Power Grids to facilitate transfer of power within and across the Regions with reliability, security and economy on sound commercial principles.

1.4 Electricity Policy and Decision Making Process

The Ministry of Power is concerned with perspective planning, policy formulation, processing of projects for investment decision, monitoring of projects, training and manpower development.

The National Electricity Policy (as indicated in the Electricity Act 2003) has been notified in 2005. Apart from overcoming endemic shortages in energy and peak power requirements, the policy seeks to increase the per capita availability to 1000 units by 2012. It also aims to effect the financial turnaround and commercial viability of the electricity sector. As part of this policy, the ministry of power has embarked on setting up of eight "ultra mega power projects" of 4000MW capacity each in various parts of the country. Of these, letters of intent for two plants at Sasan (Madhya Pradesh) and Mundra (Gujarat) have already been issued.

The National Tariff Policy to provide guidelines to the regulators for fixing tariffs for generation, transmission and distribution, has been finalised in January 2006.

The demand for electricity is assessed periodically at the national level by CEA. Based on the generation expansion planning studies, CEA prepares short, medium and long-term national power plans. Based on this, power schemes are conceived and implemented by the different agencies. Planning of schemes are on the basis of the national five-year plans and annual plans through the national Planning Commission. Expert groups scrutinize the formulation of the five-year plan before it is finalized and approved. In line with the five-year plans, annual plans are implemented.

There are different Ministries involved in the Power Sector such as Ministry of Power (being the main), Department of Atomic Energy, State Power Ministries and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Matching plans are prepared by these agencies for implementation in line with the national plans. Respective Ministries/Departments exercise administrative control of the functions relating to their areas. Individual power schemes go through the process of techno-economic scrutiny in terms of the procedures of the administrative Ministry before it is approved for implementation.

The Department of Atomic Energy is responsible for setting up nuclear power generation schemes including the techno-economic appraisal. Transmission schemes for nuclear power generation are implemented by PGCIL as per schemes approved by CEA on a regional basis. The overall integration of all the activities is achieved through the planning process in assessment of demands, decision on the expansion planning strategies, energy policy and national five-year/annual plans. Several policy initiatives have been taken and incentives have been provided to widen the scope of private sector participation in the India's electricity sector.

With the enactment of the Electricity Act 2003 and its implementation through various important notifications the electricity sector is rapidly evolving.

1.5 Main Indicators

The per capita commercial energy consumption has increased from about 10GJ in 1980 to nearly 17 GJ in 2005. During the same period per capita electricity generation from utilities increased significantly from about 162 kWh to 563 kWh. The total installed electric power capacity of only 30 GW(e) in 1980 has made an impressive growth to about 122 GW (e) in 2005-06. Apart from this, about 33.5 GW of captive power is utilized by industries in the country. The major contribution of electricity generation During 2005-06 total electricity generation from utilities was about 622 TWh. Out of this about 80% was from thermal origin followed by about 16% of hydro origin and about 3% from nuclear origin. The growth rate of electricity generation in energy terms has been more than the growth rate in capacity addition indicating improving capacity utilization. Table 5 shows the historical electricity production and installed capacity and Table 6 the energy related ratios.


Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
Electricity Generation 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 119.26 289.44 560.84 697.47 899.39 8.05 5.39
Nuclear 3.00 6.14 16.90 17.33 18.64 9.03 1.09
Hydro 46.56 71.66 74.36 101.73 106.91 2.37 4.12
Geothermal .. 0.03 .. .. .. .. ..
Thermal 69.70 211.61 469.58 578.41 773.84 10.01 5.71
Installed Capacity 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 33.32 74.70 117.78 145.76 187.87 6.52 5.32
Nuclear 0.86 1.56 2.86 3.36 4.56 6.19 5.32
Hydro 11.79 18.76 25.15 32.39 36.92 3.86 4.36
Geothermal .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Thermal 20.66 54.35 89.77 110.01 146.39 7.62 5.58

Years represent financial years from 1st April of the year to 31st March of the next year. Electrical capacities are at the end of the financial years. (1) Electricity from Utilities only. Losses not included. (2) Including 1.76TWh import from BhutanSources: Annual Reports 2005-06, 2006-07 of the Ministries of Power, Coal, Petroleum& Natural Gas, Ministry of Renewable Energy Sources, Central Electricity Authority and Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India.


Derived Indicators Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita) 9.1 13.5 17.7 22.7 27.2 3.40 4.93
Electricity per capita (KW.h/capita) 173.1 346.6 552.6 637.2 778.5 5.98 3.88
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) 2.5 2.1 3.0 2.5 2.1 0.91 -4.08
Annual capacity factor - Total (%) 40.9 44.2 54.4 54.6 54.6 1.44 0.06
Annual capacity factor - Thermal (%) 38.5 44.4 59.7 60.0 60.3 2.22 0.12
Annual capacity factor - Hydro (%) 45.1 43.6 33.7 35.9 33.1 -1.44 -0.23
Annual capacity factor - Nuclear (%) 39.8 44.8 67.5 58.9 46.7 2.67 -4.02


2.1 Historical Development and Current Nuclear Power Organisational Structure

2.1.1 Overview

A major step in the formulation of the Atomic Energy Programme in India was the passing of the Atomic Energy Act in 1948 (subsequently replaced by the Atomic Energy Act of 1962). Under the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was constituted in 1948. Uranium exploration and mining required for the nuclear power programme were some of the initial activities that were undertaken.

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) of the Government of India (GOI) was established in August 1954. The Department is responsible for execution of policies laid down by the AEC. It is engaged in research, technology development and commercial operations in the areas of Nuclear Energy, related High Technologies and supports basic research in nuclear science and engineering.

The key policy has been self-reliance. The importance of developing a strong research and development base for the nuclear power programme was recognized early on. Thus, a decision was made, in 1954, to set up a research and development centre, now called Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Trombay. Research reactors APSARA (1956), CIRUS (1960), and DHRUVA (1985) and critical facilities were set up at the Centre. A number of additional facilities and laboratories were built at the Centre to support the nuclear power programme and related nuclear fuel cycle activities. The Centre extends the necessary R&D support to the nuclear power programme and associated fuel cycle activities.

In 1947 when India became independent, its installed electric power capacity was only about 1.5 GW (e), which has now grown to about 122GW (e). Considering the population growth, low per capita electricity consumption and need for increasing the share of commercial energy sources, large-scale production of electric power was necessary. By the late 1950's, AEC had worked out the economics of generating electricity from atomic power reactors. Based on this study, the Government decided to set up a series of nuclear power plants at locations away from coalmines and nearer to load centres. The strategy adopted by the Indian nuclear power programme is to use the country's modest uranium and vast thorium resources. In line with this strategy, a three-stage programme is envisaged. The first stage is based on setting up of pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) using indigenously available natural uranium producing electricity and plutonium and is in commercial domain. This is being followed by the second stage by plutonium fuelled fast breeder reactors (FBRs) producing electricity and more plutonium and uranium233 from thorium. The third stage of reactors will be based on thorium cycle producing electricity and more uranium233. The design of a 300 MW Advanced Heavy Water Reactor is completed and construction of a critical facility will shortly be taken up. The three stage process described above will enable the country to make efficient use of domestic uranium and thorium contributing significantly to attain true energy security beyond 2050.

The first indigenously designed and fabricated Tokamak ADITYA was commissioned by the Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) in 1989. Experiments on edge plasma fluctuations, turbulence and other related works have been conducted A Superconducting Steady State Tokamak (SST-1) is to be operational shortly which will enable advanced research in the Physics of Plasmas and associated technologies. This experience would be useful in the ITER (International Thermo-nuclear Experimental Reactor) Project, of which India is a partner.

A Table indicating salient milestones of the Indian Atomic Energy Programme is given as Annex-1.

2.1.2 Current Organisational Charts

The Indian Atomic Energy Organisational Structure is shown in Figure 1. Development of nuclear power and related nuclear fuel cycle and research and development activities are carried out in various units under the AEC/DAE. The organisation is broadly divided into research and development sector, industrial sector, public sector, services and support sector and provides for close interaction needed between the production and R&D units.

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) comes directly under the Atomic Energy Commission as the independent Regulatory Authority. It is independent of DAE.
Research and development sector includes Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD), Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Research (RRCAT), Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), and fully aided research institutions like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Institute for Plasma Research (IPR) and others. It also includes Board of Research for Nuclear Sciences (BRNS) and National Board for Higher Mathematics (NBHM) for providing extra-mural funding to universities and other national laboratories.
The HRD programmes of DAE have been recently augmented by the setting up of the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) as a "Deemed to be University". This will further strengthen the linkages between basic research and technology development in various constituent R&D centres and grant-in-aid institutes of the DAE.
Industrial sector includes Government owned units Heavy Water Board (HWB) for the production of heavy water, Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) for the manufacture of nuclear fuel, zircaloy components and stainless steel tubes, and Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology (BRIT) for processing and sale of radioisotopes.
Public Sector Enterprises under the control of DAE and their activities are as follows:
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) engaged in the design, construction, commissioning and operation of the nuclear power plants based on thermal reactors;
Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) engaged in mining, milling and processing of uranium ore;
Indian Rare Earths Limited (IRE) engaged in mining and processing mineral sands containing thorium and rare earth minerals and producing minerals such as ilmenite, rutile, monazite, zircon and garnet;
Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) engaged in design and manufacture of reactor control and instrumentation equipment related to atomic energy and also to other sectors;
Bhartiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI) for setting up fast reactors.
Directorate of Construction Services and Estate Management is responsible for construction and maintenance of residential housing/office buildings and other related facilities; Directorate of Purchase and Stores is responsible for centralised purchases and stores.

Nuclear power projects have been set up and operated by a unit directly under the Government of India since the late 1960's, when the construction of the first nuclear power station was commenced. This unit was corporatised in September 1987, thereby forming Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a wholly owned company of Government of India. Formation of NPCIL was a step to give the required degree of operational freedom and to mobilise funds from the Indian capital market to finance new nuclear power projects. NPCIL is responsible to design, construct, commission and operate the nuclear power plants of the first stage nuclear power programme.

Construction of the first 500 MWe PFBR was started by the recently setup company, BHAVINI.

Development of the 300 MWe AHWR design, for demonstration of technology towards large-scale utilisation of thorium for electricity generation, is being carried out at BARC.

FIG. 1. Organisational Structure

2.2 Nuclear Power Plants: Status and Operation

The nuclear power generation comes under the AEC/DAE, GOI. NPCIL, a public sector enterprise of the DAE is responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of the nuclear power stations. It is supported by the different units of the Department for R&D, supply of fuel, heavy water, etc. Power generated from the nuclear power stations is sold to State Electricity Boards as per the power purchase agreements. The power supplied is shared by the States in the respective Electricity Region in which the nuclear power plant is located. The laying of transmission lines for evacuation of power from the nuclear power plants is carried out by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), a public sector enterprise of Ministry of Power, GOI. The tariffs for generation of electricity generated by the nuclear power stations are fixed based on the applicable norms and notified by the DAE in consultation with the CEA. AERB is the Competent Authority for the regulation on the safety aspects of nuclear power. Environmental clearances for the nuclear power plant sites are obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, GOI apart from the clearance of AERB.

2.2.1 Status of Nuclear Power Plants

The construction of India's first nuclear power station at Tarapur consisting of two boiling water reactors (BWRs) commenced in 1964.. This was essentially to establish the technical and economic viability of nuclear power in India and to gain valuable experience. In parallel, the work on construction of PHWRs was also commenced. Apart from the first two BWRs at Tarapur which are in operation since 1969, fifteen PHWRs with two reactors at each of the four locations Kalpakkam (MAPS), Narora (NAPS), Kakrapar (KAPS), and Tarapur (TAPS - 3&4), three at Kaiga (KGS) and four reactors at Rawatbhata (RAPS-1&2 and RAPS-3&4) are now in operation. Of these, TAPS- 3&4 of 540 MWe unit size while the others are in the unit size range of about 200-220 MWe (gross). The total gross nuclear power capacity in operation is now 4120 MWe.

Construction work for setting up of 2 Χ 1000 MW (e) VVERs at Kudankulam is in progress in co-operation with Russian Federation. Several advanced safety features have been provided in these reactors. Construction work for setting up of 220 MWe reactor at Kaiga (Kaiga-4) and 2 Χ 220 MW (e) reactors at Rawatbhata (RAPP-5&6) are also in progress. Design work for 700 MWe PHWRs has been completed and start of construction of eight such reactors is planned during the period 2009-12.

The work on the second stage of the nuclear power programme is in progress at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR). The Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) 40 MWth at Kalpakkam is in operation. Its unique carbide fuel has achieved a burn-up of 155,000 MWD/Tonne. Construction of the first 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is in progress and the unit is scheduled to start commercial operation in the year 2011.

Towards building up thorium-based reactors, the strides taken by DAE include setting up of 30 kWth neutron source reactor KAMINI at Kalpakkam. The reactor has been in operation since 1997. Kamini uses uranium233-based fuel derived from irradiated thorium.

A detailed design report for setting up the Advanced Heavy Water Reactor (AHWR) of 300 MWe capacity has already been prepared by BARC. This is a vertical pressure tube reactor design utilising heavy water moderator, boiling light water coolant, thorium-plutonium based fuel and incorporating passive safety systems. It derives about two-third of its power from thorium and DAE/BARC expects to launch its construction in 2009 essentially as a technology demonstration project for utilising thorium for electricity generation.

Table-7 gives a status of nuclear power plants in India.


Station Types Net
Operator Status Reactor
Criticality Construction
KAIGA-1 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1989-09-01 2000-09-26 2000-10-12 2000-11-16 90.3
KAIGA-2 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1989-12-01 1999-09-24 1999-12-02 2000-03-16 99.2
KAIGA-3 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 2002-03-30 2007-02-26 2007-04-11 2007-05-06 82.3
KAIGA-4 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 2002-05-10 2010-11-27 2011-01-19 2011-01-20 93.6
KAKRAPAR-1 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1984-12-01 1992-09-03 1992-11-24 1993-05-06 93.1
KAKRAPAR-2 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1985-04-01 1995-01-08 1995-03-04 1995-09-01 97.8
MADRAS-1 PHWR 205 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1971-01-01 1983-07-02 1983-07-23 1984-01-27 88.2
MADRAS-2 PHWR 205 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1972-10-01 1985-08-12 1985-09-20 1986-03-21 98.2
NARORA-1 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1976-12-01 1989-03-12 1989-07-29 1991-01-01 97.0
NARORA-2 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1977-11-01 1991-10-24 1992-01-05 1992-07-01 91.7
RAJASTHAN-1 PHWR 90 Operational NPCIL AECL 1965-08-01 1972-08-11 1972-11-30 1973-12-16 0.0
RAJASTHAN-2 PHWR 187 Operational NPCIL AECL/DAE 1968-04-01 1980-10-08 1980-11-01 1981-04-01 98.9
RAJASTHAN-3 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1990-02-01 1999-12-24 2000-03-10 2000-06-01 94.9
RAJASTHAN-4 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 1990-10-01 2000-11-03 2000-11-17 2000-12-23 83.5
RAJASTHAN-5 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 2002-09-18 2009-11-24 2009-12-22 2010-02-04 96.7
RAJASTHAN-6 PHWR 202 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 2003-01-20 2010-01-23 2010-03-28 2010-03-31 87.3
TARAPUR-1 BWR 150 Operational NPCIL GE 1964-10-01 1969-02-01 1969-04-01 1969-10-28 96.0
TARAPUR-2 BWR 150 Operational NPCIL GE 1964-10-01 1969-02-28 1969-05-05 1969-10-28 87.5
TARAPUR-3 PHWR 490 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 2000-05-12 2006-05-21 2006-06-15 2006-08-18 100.0
TARAPUR-4 PHWR 490 Operational NPCIL NPCIL 2000-03-08 2005-03-06 2005-06-04 2005-09-12 75.0
KAKRAPAR-3 PHWR 630 Under Construction NPCIL NPCIL 2010-11-22 2014-12-31 2015-03-31 2015-06-30
KAKRAPAR-4 PHWR 630 Under Construction NPCIL NPCIL 2010-11-22 2015-06-30 2015-09-30 2015-12-31
KUDANKULAM-1 PWR 917 Under Construction NPCIL MAEP 2002-03-31
KUDANKULAM-2 PWR 917 Under Construction NPCIL MAEP 2002-07-04 2012-06-30 2012-07-31 2012-08-31
PFBR FBR 470 Under Construction BHAVINI 2004-10-23
RAJASTHAN-7 PHWR 630 Under Construction NPCIL NPCIL 2011-07-18 2015-12-31 2016-03-31 2016-06-30
RAJASTHAN-8 PHWR 630 Under Construction NPCIL NPCIL 2011-09-30 2016-06-30 2016-09-30 2016-12-31

2.2.2 Performance of NPPs

The performance of NPPs in operation is given below:

Units Capacity (MWe) Calendar Year Generation (MU)
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
TAPS-1 150 1084 1181 1100 1149 965 939 1218
TAPS-2 150 1197 1163 1117 1238 893 1091 1142
RAPS-1 90 173 0 0 304 0 0 0
RAPS-2 187 1348 1431 1391 1048 1135 1027 509
MAPS-1 205 1174 896 811 0 0 1225 696
MAPS-2 202 1119 23 589 1274 1476 1087 971
NAPS-1 202 1563 1574 1528 1121 1065 0 0
NAPS-2 202 1343 1693 1287 1365 1223 1229 497
KAPS-1 202 1517 1698 1419 1064 1089 986 829
KAPS-2 202 1685 1597 1613 1142 1255 866 1012
KAIGA-2 202 1309 1559 1413 1290 1509 1064 1083
RAPS-3 202 1366 1318 1442 1260 1488 986 1043
KAIGA-1 202 1241 1693 1336 1345 1184 1167 946
RAPS-4 202 1201 1671 1318 1448 1462 1128 943
TAPS-4 490 990 1762 2033
TAPS-3 490 1038 2483
KAIGA-3 202 353
Total 3782 17322 17497 16366 15048 15734 15594 15758

Notes on Table

MAPS-2 Synchronised on 23.07.2003 after EMCCR and upgradation work and declared commercial operation on 01.08.2003. It has generated 28 MUs as infirm power in 2003.

TAPS-4 generated 187 MUs of infirm power in the year 2005.

TAPS-3 generated 167 MUs as infirm power in the year 2006.

MAPS-2 EMCCR from Jan. 2002 to Aug. 2003, MAPS-1 EMCCR from Aug. 2003 to Jan. 2006.

NAPS-1 under EMCCR from Nov 2005

^ Includes energy equivalent of steam supply to nearby Heavy Water Plant;

RAPS-1 (100 MW(e)) the first PHWR not included. It generated 105, 293 & 381 Million kWh in 2001, 2002, 2004 respectively including energy equivalent of steam supplied to nearby heavy water plant. This unit is under shut down since October 2004 for detailed in-service inspection for a decision on refurbishment.

2.2.3 Plant Upgradation and Plant Life Management

Technology, tools and procedures have been successfully developed and deployed based on indigenous efforts for in-service inspection, complex in-core maintenance and major refurbishment work. Tools for In-service Inspection of Coolant Channels and Garter Spring relocation have also been indigenously developed.

Plant life extension activities are progressively being implemented at TAPS. Enmasse coolant channel replacement and up-gradation work of RAPS-2 was completed based on indigenously developed tools and technology and the unit was put back in service in 1998. The repair of Over Pressure Relief Device (OPRD) at RAPS -1 was successfully carried out based on indigenously developed tools and technology. En-mass replacement of coolant channels and upgradation of plant systems for MAPS-1&2 was successfully completed and the units have been put back into service in August 2003 & January 2006 respectively with restoration of its original capacity of 220 MWe from 170 MWe. EMCR of NAPS-1 is nearing completion.

2.2.4 Nuclear Power Development Projections and Plans

Based on the nuclear power projects under construction, a capacity additions of 2660 MW (e) by 2009 and further 500 MWe by 2011 will materialise. With this, the total nuclear power capacity will grow to 7280 MW(e). Eight 700 MWe PHWRs, a 300 MWe AHWR and about ten LWRs of about 1000 MWe each based on international cooperation and are planned for start of construction over the next six years. More FBRs and LWRs based on imports are also planned in future.

2.2.5 Decommissioning Information and Plans

No nuclear power reactors are planned as of now to be taken up for decommissioning. The emphasis is on plant life extension.

2.3 Supply of NPPs

India's first nuclear power station, Tarapur, was constructed by the International General Electric Co., USA based on a turnkey contract. The second nuclear power station at Rajasthan was built as a collaborative venture with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canada. For all subsequent nuclear power stations, DAE/NPCIL assumed total responsibility for design, manufacture, construction, commissioning and operation. NPCIL carries out the nuclear design. Balance of plant engineering is done by Indian Consulting Engineering firms (employed by NPCIL) who have expertise in the fossil thermal power plant engineering.

Manufacturing of most of the materials, components and equipment required for nuclear power plants is done indigenously. India has heavy engineering plants in both public and private sectors, manufacturing large steam generators, turbines, electrical equipment, heat exchangers, pumps, pressure vessels and other industrial equipment. The Indian Nuclear Power Programme utilizes these facilities for manufacture of nuclear and conventional equipment. In the early stage of the programme these facilities were augmented, whenever necessary, with balancing machinery and technical inputs to meet nuclear quality assurance requirements. Quality surveillance representatives of NPCIL are posted at the major manufacturer's shops for this purpose.

NPCIL integrates all the activities relating to setting up the nuclear power plant. It plays the role similar to that of a turnkey supplier. The strategy of adopting large EPC/supply-cum-erection packages has been adopted in the projects under construction with the growth of domestic industry. Fuel, heavy water, zircaloy components, reactor control equipment, are supplied by the various units of DAE from the facilities set up for this purpose.

Foreign suppliers of NPPs are involved in supplies of a major component of systems and equipment in respect of units set up in technical cooperation with foreign countries. In case of Kudankulam project, industries in Russia and other CIS are the major suppliers.

2.4 Operation of NPPs

NPCIL operates and maintains the NPPs in operation. Each station has Operation, Maintenance, Technical and Training Groups. These functions are carried out by specially trained and qualified operating and maintenance personnel at each nuclear power station. The NPPs include reactor components and process systems, turbine generators, electrical system equipment, instrumentation and control systems (I&C), cooling water intake and out fall structures, heavy water upgrading plant (at PHWR stations), waste management facilities and the like, to be operated and maintained. Whenever required, the services of equipment suppliers are availed through contracts for major maintenance and overhaul. Three groups of technical and scientific personnel are required for the nuclear power programme: qualified professionals, i.e., engineers and scientists who later become senior engineers and managers; semi-professionals having engineering diplomas or advanced trade certificates who constitute the supervisory personnel; and, technicians like operators and maintainers with high school education and trade certificates. Professionals get inducted into the Atomic Energy Organisation by completing one-year training course at the BARC training school in Trombay or its affiliates at Indore, Hyderabad and NTCs of NPCIL. Separate training programmes at different levels are conducted at the NPCIL's Nuclear Training Centres of operating stations for qualifying and licensing of operating personnel, as per the regulatory requirements. Training simulators are used to provide training in all aspects of operation, including handling of unusual incidents. Key operations personnel are also imparted rigorous training in various systems of the plant on training simulators.

NPCIL is a member of World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). WANO Peer Review of the nuclear power plants have being undertaken progressively by NPCIL. A WANO pre-commissioning peer review of TAPP 3 was also carried out. NPCIL is also a member of CANDU Owners Group (COG). All the nuclear power stations except the recently commissioned TAPS 3&4 have been certified for ISO-14001 - Environmental Management System, and all stations except TAPS & KGS certified for OHSAS - ISO 18001.

2.5. Fuel Cycle, Spent Fuel and Waste Management

Fuel cycle and waste management services are provided by various units of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Uranium Corporation of India Ltd., (UCIL), a public sector company of DAE, carries out mining and processing of uranium deposits surveyed by the Atomic Minerals Directorate of Exploration & Research (AMD) of DAE. New and innovative techniques like electromagnetic aerial survey capability to explore deep seated uranium deposits are being employed to enhance the uranium capacity. In addition, new mines are also being commissioned.

Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), an industrial unit of DAE, utilizes the uranium concentrates supplied by UCIL to fabricate PHWR's nuclear fuel assemblies. For the BWR's in Tarapur, NFC manufactures the fuel assemblies from imported uranium. NFC also supplies the required zircaloy components. Heavy water required for the initial charge and subsequent make-up requirements of the nuclear power plants are supplied by the Heavy Water Board of DAE.

Spent fuel from the PHWRs is reprocessed to extract the plutonium contained in it. Build up of plutonium inventory is vital for development of the second stage of the Indian nuclear power programme consisting of FBRs. The fuel reprocessing plants are set up by the BARC based on the technology developed by it. Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plants at Tarapur and Kalpakkam are operational.

Processes for treating reactor-produced wastes have been established and plants meeting regulatory requirements have been in operation during the past several decades. This is also the case with waste generated from fuel reprocessing plants. The first waste immobilization plant at Tarapur is in service and a Solid Storage Surveillance Facility (S3F) has also been set up for interim storage of waste. A Waste Immobilisation Plant (WIP) has been installed at Trombay and another WIP is under construction at Kalpakkam. R'D work for ultimate disposal of high level and alpha bearing wastes in a repository is in progress.

2.6 Research and Development

2.6.1. R&D Organizations and Institutes

  1. BARC, is the national research centre for multidisciplinary R'D work in nuclear sciences, reactor engineering, reactor safety, nuclear fuel, control and instrumentation, material science, spent fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste management, development of radiation technology applications etc. R'D work on development of the AHWR is in progress at this Centre and the prototype unit is expected to be launched in a few years. Development works on plant life extension, ageing and in-service inspection are given due importance.

  2. IGCAR is responsible for R'D related to development of FBR technology. Technology development for the first 500 MW (e) PFBR has been completed and excavation for construction of the reactor at Kalpakkam has been started by a corporation BHAVINI set up specially for this purpose. BHAVINI draws technical expertise from IGCAR and project management expertise from NPCIL.

  3. Atomic Mineral Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) at Hyderabad, is responsible for survey, exploration and prospecting of atomic minerals, etc.

  4. Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT) and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) carry out advanced research in Lasers, Accelerators and their applications.

  5. Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) undertakes research in Plasma Physics and associated technologies.

  6. The other R&D institutions of the DAE are carrying out advanced research work in hi-tech areas such as biosciences etc. and also in basic sciences such as physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.

  7. Academic Institutions and Universities also extend R&D support in specific areas as per needs.

  8. The Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences (BRNS) and the National Board of Higher Mathematics (NBHM) support research activities in national institutes and universities in the fields of nuclear science & technology and mathematics.

  9. Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) is a "Deemed to be University" which provides the linkage between basic research and technology development in DAE.

2.6.2 Development of advanced and new generation nuclear reactor systems

A number of initiatives have been taken on the development of new reactor systems. The details are as follows:

  1. All PHWRs beyond those presently under construction are proposed to be of 700 MWe unit size. Design work on scaling up the 540 MWe unit PHWR to 700 MWe by permitting partial boiling in the channels, has been completed. These units are proposed to be launched in the next 2-3 years.

  2. The construction of the first 500 MWe PFBR is proceeding according to schedule. This will signify the launch of the second stage FBR programme in the country.

  3. The 300 MWe AHWR design has been completed. This is a technology demonstration project for large-scale utilisation thorium for electricity generation.

2.7 International Co-operation and Initiatives

International co-operation is through multilateral mechanism with IAEA as well as through bilateral mechanisms. Under the aegis of the IAEA, India has trained a number of personnel, particularly from the developing countries. India has also hosted a number of workshops, seminars and training courses. The expertise of Indian scientists and engineers is made available to other countries through IAEA.

NPCIL is a member of WANO Tokyo Centre, WANO Atlanta Centre and Candu Owners Group (COG). Many Indian professional have participated in the workshops/seminars/training courses, conducted by these organisations. Also many Indian professional have participated as Reviewer / Lead Reviewer in the WANO Peer Review of Plants abroad. NPCIL teams have also visited other NPPs outside India under the Technical Exchange Visit (TEV) programme of WANO. Similarly NPCIL plants have also received TEV team from other NPPs worldwide.

The details on international, multilateral and Bilateral Agreements are given in Annex-2.

2.8. Human Resource Development

Realising the importance of having well trained scientists and engineers in achieving success in the programme, a training school at BARC was established in August 1957. Subsequently when the training needs for the operating nuclear power stations arose, the Nuclear Training Centres (NTC) were set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). To meet the expanding needs of Human Resources, Training Schools have also been set up at the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore (2000) and Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad (2001). NTCs and training schools at Hyderabad and Indore are affiliated to the BARC Training School with respect to training of engineers and scientists. Thus, human resource development has been given high importance from the early stages by the DAE. It has been further strengthened by setting up the Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), a "Deemed to be University'.


3.1 Safety Authority and the Licensing Process

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) was formed in November 1983 by the Government of India in exercise of the powers conferred by the Atomic Energy Act of 1962, to carry out regulatory and safety functions as envisaged in the Act. As per its constitution, AERB has the power of the Competent Authority to enforce rules and regulations framed under the Atomic Energy Act for radiation safety in the country. AERB also has the authority to administer the provisions of the Factories Act, for industrial safety of the units of DAE. AERB has been delegated with powers to enforce some of the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act, at DAE installations. Prior to setting up of AERB, the DAE - Safety Review Committee (DAE-SRC) was carrying out these functions. DAE-SRC was supported by the Unit level Safety Committees.

Enforcement of safety related regulation at all nuclear facilities lies with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), empowered by the Government of India. The structure of the regulatory organisation is shown in Fig. 2. The AERB conducts in-depth reviews so that nuclear facilities do not pose any radiological risk to the public and plant personnel. The authorisation process involves various major activities like site approval, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning. This process is an ongoing one starting with site selection and feasibility study, continuing through the construction and operation of the facility until the decommissioning of the plant. The applicant is required to provide all relevant information, such as safety principles, analysis, criteria and standards proposed for each major stages, and quality assurance demonstrating that the plant will not pose any undue radiological risks to site personnel and the public.

FIG. 2 Organisational Chart of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

AERB has advisory committees for site selection, design review and authorisation, and licenses for commissioning. The advisory committees are assisted by unit level safety committees, which undertake detailed safety assessments at the design and commissioning stages of nuclear facilities. AERB then issues its authorisation based on the recommendations of the advisory committee. Safety assessments during plant operation are done by the Safety Committee for Operating Plants (SARCOP). Authorisation is granted only for a limited period and further authorisation is required beyond that period. Authorisation also includes explicit conditions that the applicant must adhere to. AERB also ensures that all the nuclear facilities have put in place an emergency preparedness procedure and organisation.

3.2 Main National Laws and Regulations

The Atomic Energy Act 1962 is the main law. The various activities relating to the Indian atomic energy programme are governed by this Act. A number of rules, codes, and regulations covering the entire nuclear fuel cycle have been defined by AERB as well as DAE under the Atomic Energy Act of 1962, for instance:


  1. Atomic Energy (Arbitration procedure) Rules, 1983;

  2. Atomic Energy (Working of mines, minerals and handling of prescribed substances) Rules, 1984;

  3. Atomic Energy (Safe disposal of radioactive waste) Rules, 1987;

  4. Atomic Energy (Factories) Rules, 1996;

  5. Atomic Energy (Control of irradiation of foods) Rules, 1996.

  6. Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004.


  1. Prescribed substances, Prescribed equipment and Technology, 2006.

  2. Guidelines for Nuclear Transfers (Exports), 2006.

Exports of Nuclear and nuclear related items are regulated under the following legislations:

  1. Atomic Energy Act 1962.

  2. Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act 1992.

  3. The weapons of Mass Destruction and their delivery systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act 2005.


4.1 Energy Policy

The Integrated Energy Policy of the country recognizes that nuclear power based on indigenous resources can provide long term energy security for the country and recommends continued support for the three-stage program and development of the thorium fuel cycle. It also recommends exploring the possibility of setting up large nuclear capacities based on imports once the necessary agreements for international cooperation are in place.

4.2 Privatisation and Deregulation

The nuclear power generation and related fuel cycle activities are under the Central Government. NPCIL, a wholly owned company of GOI. The 500 MWe PFBR is being set up by BHAVINI which is another PSU under DAE registered on 22nd October 2003 for this purpose. DAE, is responsible for setting up and operating the nuclear power plants. The other related fuel cycle (both front-end and back end) activities are carried out by the different units of DAE, GOI.

As of now, there is no equity participation by the private sector in the area of nuclear power generation. Possibility of joint ventures with public/private sector is being explored. This is essentially with a view to attracting investment in the nuclear power sector for capacity addition. This, however, will require amendments to the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.

4.3 Role of the Government in nuclear R&D

India is a large country and so needs a large electricity generating capacity. Power generation in India was 4.1 billion kWhr in 1947-48 and in 2003-04, it was more than 600 billion kWhr including captive power. In the next 50 years, it may increase by a factor of 12 or more. At present, a major component of electricity is generated using fossil fuels and there are environmental concerns like green house gas (GHG) emissions associated with the energy generation using fossil resources. If India continues to rely on fossil resources as at present, it will have serious effects on local, regional and global environment. Therefore, it is necessary that India continues to develop nuclear energy and meets a significant percentage of its electricity needs based on nuclear energy.

4.4 Nuclear Energy and Climatic Change

India is a large country and so needs a large electricity generating capacity. Power generation in India was 4.1 billion kWhr in 1947-48 and in 2005-06, it was more than 670 billion kWhr including captive power. In the next 50 years, it may increase by a factor of 12 or more. At present, a major component of electricity is generated using fossil fuels and there are environmental concerns like green house gas (GHG) emissions associated with the energy generation using fossil resources. If India continues to rely on fossil resources as at present, it will have serious effects on local, regional and global environment. Therefore, it is necessary that India continues to develop nuclear energy and meets a significant percentage of its electricity needs based on nuclear energy.

4.5 Safety and Waste Management Issues

Utmost attention is given to safety in nuclear power plants. The overriding attention to safety encompasses the entire gamut of activities associated with nuclear power plants (NPPs), that is, siting, design, construction, commissioning, and operation. In all these activities, a major effort is devoted to ensuring safety of operating personnel, public as well as the environment.

A systematic approach using well-defined principles is followed in the design of the nuclear power plants to provide the required safety features adopting principles of defence-in-depth, diversity and redundancy. Nuclear Power Plants are constructed in accordance with the design intent, and with required quality of workmanship to very strict quality standards. Commissioning of the systems to test and demonstrate adequacy of each system and the plant as a whole by actual performance tests to meet the design intent is carried out before commencing the operation of the plant. Operation of the plant is carried out as per defined and approved procedures defining the safety limits for various system parameters, in technical specifications that are thoroughly reviewed by the internal safety committees and approved by AERB. Further AERB, through formal clearances that authorise actions and stipulate specific conditions, enforces safety at various stages of the plant. These include site approval, review and approval of design of systems important to safety and authorisations for construction, commissioning and operation and safety review during operational phase. The regulatory framework in India is indeed robust. All these measures are for ensuring safe operation of the plants, safety of occupational workers and members of public.

All nuclear power plant sites in India are self sufficient in the management of radioactive waste generated there. Adequate facilities have been provided for handling, treatment and disposal of relevant wastes at these sites. Management of radioactive wastes is carried out in conformity with the guidelines specified by the Regulatory Authorities based on internationally accepted principles in line with the guidelines laid down by the international agencies.

4.6 Other Issues and Developments

The NPPs presently in operation are generating electricity at competitive tariffs. Measures to reduce construction period of NPPs, standardisation and scaling up unit sizes have been taken to further improve the economic competitiveness of nuclear power.

The nuclear power technology, as is evident from the excellent performance of the indigenously constructed plants of the first stage nuclear power programme, in India has matured.. The current emphasis is on accelerating the growth of nuclear capacity addition. The factors receiving attention are:

· Launching indigenously designed 700 MWe. PHWRs

· Launching of AHWR 300 MWe- a technology demonstration project for utilisation of thorium for electricity generation.

· Setting up large capacity LWRs based on imports

· Focus on further enhancement of performance and safety of NPPs in operation


March 12, 1944Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha writes to Sir Dorabji Tata Trust for starting Nuclear Research in India.
December 19, 1945Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai is inaugurated.
April 15, 1948Atomic Energy Act is passed.
August 10, 1948Atomic Energy Commission is constituted.
July 29, 1949Rare Minerals Survey Unit is set up. Later, this unit becomes Atomic Minerals Division. It is renamed as Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research on July 29, 1998.
August 18, 1950Indian Rare Earths Limited is set up for recovering minerals, processing of rare earths compounds and Thorium - Uranium concentrates.
August 03, 1954Department of Atomic Energy is created.
August 01, 1955Thorium Plant at Trombay goes into production.
August 04, 1956APSARA - first research reactor in Asia, attains criticality at Trombay, Mumbai.
January 20, 1957Atomic Energy Establishment, Trombay (AEET) is inaugurated.
August 19, 1957Atomic Energy Establishment Training School starts functioning.
January 30, 1959Uranium Metal Plant at Trombay produces Uranium.
February 19, 1960First lot of 10 Fuel Elements for CIRUS reactor is fabricated at Trombay
July 10, 1960CIRUS - the 40 MW (th) research reactor, attains criticality.
January 14, 1961Research Reactor ZERLINA attains criticality. (It is decommissioned in 1983)
January 22, 1965Plutonium Plant is inaugurated.
January 12, 1967Atomic Energy Establishment Trombay (AEET) is renamed as Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
April 11, 1967Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) is set up at Hyderabad for producing electronic systems, instruments and components.
June 1, 1967Constitution of Power Projects Engineering Division, Mumbai, which was subsequently converted to Nuclear Power Board on August 17, 1984.
October 04, 1967Uranium Corporation of India Limited is set up at Jaduguda, Jharkhand for mining and milling of uranium ores.
December 31, 1968Nuclear Fuel Complex is set up at Hyderabad.
March 12, 1969Reactor Research Centre is started at Kalpakkam. It is renamed as Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic on December 18, 1985.
May 01, 1969Heavy Water Projects is constituted. Later, it becomes Heavy Water Board in February 17, 1989.
October 28, 1969Tarapur Atomic Power Station starts commercial operation.
September 06, 1970Uranium233 is separated from irradiated thorium
February 18, 1971Plutonium fuel for Research Reactor PURNIMA-I is fabricated at Trombay.
May-June, 1971Zirconium Oxide and Sponge Plants of Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad are commissioned. Subsequently all the other plants of NFC went into production by 1974.
May 18, 1972Research Reactor PURNIMA-I attains criticality.
December 16, 1973Unit -1 of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station near Kota begins commercial operation. Unit -2 commenced commercial operation on April 1, 1981.
May 18, 1974Peaceful underground Nuclear Experiment is conducted at Pokhran, Rajasthan.
June 16, 1977Variable Energy Cyclotron becomes operational at Kolkata.
Nov 18, 1979Plutonium-Uranium mixed oxide fuel is fabricated at Trombay.

November 19, 1982Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant at Tarapur is commissioned.
November 15, 1983Atomic Energy Regulatory Board is constituted.
January 27, 1984Madras Atomic Power Station-Unit I at Kalpakkam starts commercial operation. Unit II goes commercial on March 21, 1986.
February 19, 1984Centre for Advanced Technology at Indore (Madhya Pradesh) is inaugurated.
March 08, 1984Plutonium-Uranium mixed Carbide Fuel for Fast Breeder Test Reactor is fabricated in BARC.
May 10, 1984Research Reactor PURNIMA-II, a Uranium-233 fuelled Reactor, attains criticality.
March 05, 1985Waste Immobilisation Plant (WIP) at Tarapur is commissioned.
August 08, 1985Research Reactor DHRUVA [100 MW (th)] attains criticality. It attains full power on January 17, 1988.
October 18, 1985Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at Kalpakkam attains criticality.
September 17, 1987Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is formed by converting the erstwhile Nuclear Power Board.
December 30, 198812 MV Pelletron Accelerator at Mumbai is inaugurated.
March 12, 1989Narora Atomic Power Station Unit-1 attains criticality. On January 1, 1991 this unit commences commercial operation. Its Unit-2 attains criticality on October 24, 1991 and commenced commercial operation on July 1, 1992.
November 09, 1990Research Reactor PURNIMA-III, a Uranium233 fuelled reactor, attains criticality.
September 3, 1992Kakrapar Atomic Power Station Unit -1 attains criticality and on May 6, 1993 this unit commences commercial operation. Its Unit - 2 attains criticality on January 8, 1995 and commences commercial operation on September 1, 1995.
March 27, 1996Kalpakkam Reprocessing Plant (KARP) is cold commissioned.
October 20, 1996Kalpakkam Mini Reactor (KAMINI), with Uranium-233 fuel, attains criticality at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, Tamilnadu.
March. 31, 1997Rajasthan Atomic Power Station Unit-1 is recommissioned after repair of OPRD valve.
September 17, 1997Research Reactor KAMINI attains full power level of 30 kW (th).
May 11 & 13, 1998Five underground nuclear tests are conducted at Pokhran Range, Rajasthan.
May 27, 1998Rajasthan Atomic Power Station Unit-2 is recommissioned after en-masse replacement of coolant channels.
August 10, 1998500 KeV industrial electron accelerator developed indigenously by the BARC is commissioned for its first phase of operation.
September 15, 1998Kalpakkam Reprocessing Plant (KARP) is dedicated to the Nation.
April 22, 1999450 MeV Synchrotron Radiation Source Indus-1 achieves Electron beam current of 113 milli-ampere superseding the design value of 100 milli-ampere.
September 24, 1999Unit -2 of Kaiga Atomic Power Station attains criticality and on March 16, 2000 this unit commences commercial operation. Its Unit-1 attains criticality on September 26, 2000 and commences commercial operation on November 16, 2000.
December 24, 1999Unit -3 of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station attains criticality and on June 1, 2000 this unit commences commercial operation. Its Unit-4 attains criticality on November 3, 2000 and commences commercial operation on December 23, 2000.
January 1, 2000BRIT's plant for radiation processing of spices commissioned at Vashi, Navi Mumbai
April 21, 2000Folded Tandem Ion Accelerator (FOTIA) delivers first beam on target.

March 31, 2002Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Units-1 & 2, First Pour of Main Plant Concrete.
March 30, 2002Kaiga-3 & 4 Project, First Pour of Concrete.
September 18, 2002RAPP-5 & 6 Project First Pour of Concrete
October 31, 2002Waste Immobilization and Uranium Thorium Separation Plants at Trombay and the Radiation Processing Plant Krushak at Lasalgaon dedicated to Nation.
November 2002Turamdih Mine, Jharkhand inaugurated.
July 23, 2003MAPS-2 connected to grid after enmasse coolant channel replacement and upgradation of it systems.
20031.7 MeV Tandetron Accelerator and demo facility and Lead Mini Cell for reprocessing FBTR carbide Fuel on lab scale commissioned at IGCAR.
October 22, 2003Formation of Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI).
October 23, 2004 Construction of 500 MWe prototype fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) at Kalpakkam is launched by the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
November 2004Steam Generator Test Facility (SGTF) commissioned in IGCAR
March 2005 Unit 4 of the Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) attains criticality and is later connected to the grid.
May 2006Unit 3 of the Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) attains criticality and is later connected to the grid.


• Amendment to the Article VI of the IAEA StatueEntry into force:28 December 1989
• Amendment to the Article XIV of the IAEA StatuteNot ratified
• Agreement on privileges and immunitiesEntry into force:10 March 1961
• Additional protocolNot signed
• Supplementary agreement on provision of technical assistance by the IAEANon-Party;
Text of agreement
handed over to
authorities by
6 Oct. 1993
• RCAEntry into force:6 July 1987
• The Agency's assistance in furthering projects by the supply of materialsEntry into force:9 December 1966
• Safeguards transfer relating to the bilateral agreement with the United States of AmericaEntry into force:27 January 1971
• Safeguards transfer relating to the bilateral agreement with Canada; INFCIRC/211Entry into force:30 September 1971
• Application of safeguards in connection with the supply of heavy water from the Soviet Union; INFCIRC/260Entry into force:17 November 1977
• Application of safeguards in connection with the supply of a nuclear power station from the USSR; INFCIRC/360Entry into force:27 September 1988
• Application of safeguards in connection with the supply of nuclear material from France INFCIRC/374Entry into force:11 October 1989
• Agreement for the application of safeguards to all nuclear material subject to Agency Safeguards under
Part 1 INFCIRC/433
INFCIRC/433/Mod. 1
Entry into force:1 March 1994
12 September 1994
• Improved procedures for designation of safeguards inspectorsAccepted on:9 January 1989
Main Treaties or Agreements
• NPTNon Party
• Convention on physical protection of nuclear materialEntry into force11 April 2002
• Convention on early notification of a nuclear accidentEntry into force:28 February 1988
• Convention on assistance in the case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergencyEntry into force:28 February 1988
• Vienna convention on civil liability for nuclear damageNon Party
• Paris convention on civil liability for nuclear damageN.A.
• Joint protocolNon Party
• Protocol to amend the Vienna convention on civil liabilityNot signed
• Convention on Supplementary compensation for nuclear damageNot signed
• Convention on nuclear safetySignature:20 September 1994
• Joint convention on the safety of spent fuel management and the safety of radioactive waste managementNot signed
• Agreement establishing the Asian Regional Co-operative Project on Food IrradiationEntry into force:23 May 1980
• Memorandum of Understanding between the IAEA and the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India, concerning strengthening of Co-operation in connection with the Agency's regional and inter-regional training events, individual and group fellowship programmes carried out as part of the Technical Co-operation Activities of the IAEAMay 2000
Other Relevant International Treaties, etc
• Zangger CommitteeN.A.
• Nuclear Export GuidelinesExport control system in place since 1948 when the Atomic Energy Act was passed by the Constituent Assembly
• Acceptance of NUSS Codes regulatorySummary: Valuable guidance for national requirements. Useful reference in safety assessments. India's regulatory requirements are generally consistent with codes. Aims to meet requirements although they are not binding. Letter of: 17 June 1988
Bilateral Agreements
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyEgypt10 July 1962
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyBelgium30 January 1965
• Setting up of an Isotope Dispensation Unit at Kabul UniversityAfghanistan14 May 1966
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyCzech Republic9 November 1966
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyGermany5 October 1971
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyIraq28 March 1974
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyPoland9 September 1977
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyRussian Federation22 January 1979
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energySyria1 May 1980
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyIndonesia9 January 1981
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyCuba18 May 1985
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyVietnam25 May 1986
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyAlgeria25 September 1990
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyPhilippines29 April 1991
• Co-operation agreement concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energyPeru12 February 1992


[1]Country Profile of India 1995 - 96, Economist Intelligence Unit.
[2]Annual Report 2004-05, 2005-06, Ministry of Power, Government of India
[3]Annual Report 2004-05, 2005-06, Ministry of New and -Renewable Energy
[4]India 2002, A Reference Manual, Compiled and Edited by Research, Reference and Training Division, Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India Division.
[5]Annual Report 2004-05, 2005-06, Ministry of Coal
[6]Annual Report 2004-05, Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy.
[7]Data & Statistics, The World Bank,
[8]IAEA Energy and Economic Data Base (EEDB).
[9]IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).


Atomic Energy Commission
Anushakti Bhavan, 8476
Mumbai -400 001, India
Tel: 91 22 2202 2543
Fax: 91 22 2204
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
Tel: 91 22 2550 5050
Fax: 91 22 2550 5151 or 2551 9613
Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research
(IGCAR), Kalpakkam
Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar
Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar
Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (CAT), Indore
Nuclear Science Centre, New Delhi
Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), Kolkata
Kakrapar Atomic Power Station
Kaiga Generating Station
Madras Atomic Power Station
Narora Atomic Power Station
Rajasthan Atomic Power Station
Tarapur Nuclear Power Station
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)
Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI)
Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL)
Heavy Water Board, Mumbai
Indian Rare Earths Ltd.
Nuclear Fuel Complex, Hyderabad
Uranium Corporation of India Ltd.
Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology, Mumbai
Harish-Chandra Research Institute(HCRI), Allahabad
Tata Memorial Centre: Mumbai
The Institute of Mathematical Sciences Chennai
Central Power Research Institute (CPRI)

1. The secretariat replaced the table 7. status of nuclear power plants with PRIS data as of end of 2007.

(1) Captive plants of capacity < 1MW also included.

(2) "A Strategy for Energy Growth in India" R. B. Grover and Subhash Chandra , Document No 10, Department of Atomic Energy, India (August 2004), "Power Line" Nov 2001 and Dec 2002.

(*) The statistical tables in this profile have been updated with data as of the July 2012 from IAEA databases, namely the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) and Energy and Economic Data Bank (EEDB), and the World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI)