Keywords: advanced heavy water reactors, closed fuel cycle, fast breeder reactors, human resource development, HRD, India, light water reactors, nuclear energy, nuclear power, pressurised heavy water reactors, PHWR, slightly enriched uranium, thorium
Nuclear energy and India
The Indian nuclear energy programme, based on a closed fuel cycle, comprises three main stages: pressurised heavy water reactors in the first stage, fast breeder reactors in the second stage and thorium-based reactors in the third stage. The economic growth and the concomitant growth in energy requirement in the country have led to various studies mandating a larger role for nuclear energy in the overall energy mix. The nuclear renaissance in the world, driven by the need for sustainable growth, is subjecting available uranium resources to stress and India would need to factor this in when deciding its strategy for growth in nuclear energy. This would influence the choice of the type of reactor and fuel cycle to be followed.