Nuclear power is energy produced by controlled (i.e., non-explosive) nuclear reactions. Currently, commercial plants use nuclear fission for power generation. The heat from the nuclear reactor is used to heat water to produce steam, which is then used to generate electricity. In India, uranium and thorium, which are found in the Aravalli mountain range of Jharkhand and Rajasthan, are used in the production of nuclear or molecular energy. Thorium is also found in the monazite sands found in Kerala.
The energy obtained by fissioning radioactive mineral substances such as uranium, thorium, and graphite is called molecular or nuclear energy. It contributes 5.6% to India’s energy resources. Trombay, Narora, Rawatbhata, Kudankulam, Kakrapar, Kaiga, Kalpakkam, Jetpura and Tarapur are nuclear power centers in India. Nuclear power is the fifth-largest source of electricity in India. India has 22 nuclear reactors in operation at 7 nuclear power plants, with a total installed capacity of 6,780 MW. Dhruva reactor is India’s largest research and primary source of weapon-grade plutonium. Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha is considered the father of India’s nuclear power program. With his efforts, the Atomic Energy Research Center was established in India in 1948. In 1954, Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) was established in Trombay, Mumbai. It was here that India’s first nuclear research reactor ‘Apsara’ was set up. The first nuclear power plant in India was established in 1969 in Tarapur, Maharashtra in collaboration with the USA.
About 70% of the world’s nuclear power centers are in the United States, under which it derives 19% of its power consumption from nuclear power. According to the World Nuclear Association, there are currently 459 nuclear reactors in 31 countries around the world producing electricity. Maximum of them are 98 reactors in America, 50 in France, 48 in China, 37 in Japan, 36 in Russia, 22 reactors in India. The reactors of the world have a power generation capacity of 390 GW and 11 percent of the power is being produced from nuclear.
Eight countries in the world have successfully tested nuclear weapons. Five of these are known as nuclear-weapon states under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China. The three countries which have not successfully participated in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are those that have successfully carried out nuclear explosions; India, North Korea, and Pakistan. On the one hand, there is increasing attraction towards renewable energy, on the other hand, many countries are disillusioned with nuclear energy due to security reasons. Disillusioned with this attraction has heated the market to destroy nuclear power plants. Nuclear power sources in European Union countries are increasingly being stranded.
Operational Nuclear Energy/Power Plants in India
|Name Of Nuclear Power Station||Location||Operator||Capacity|
|Kakrapar Atomic Power Station||Gujarat||NPCIL||440|
|(Kalpakkam) Madras Atomic Power Station||Tamil Nadu||NPCIL||440|
|Narora Atomic Power Station||Uttar Pradesh||NPCIL||440|
|Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant||Karnataka||NPCIL||880|
|Rajasthan Atomic Power Station||Rajasthan||NPCIL||1,180|
|Tarapur Atomic Power Station||Maharashtra||NPCIL||1,400|
|Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant||Tamil Nadu||NPCIL||2,000|