Nuclear Power in India
India has one of the largest supplies of thorium in the world, with comparatively poor quantities of uranium. India has projected meeting as much as 30% of its electrical demands through thorium by 2050.
In February 2014, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), in Mumbai, India, presented their latest design for a "next-generation nuclear reactor" that will burn thorium as its fuel ore. Once built, with a target date of 2016, they estimate that the reactor could function without an operator for 120 days.
According to Dr R K Sinha, chairman of their Atomic Energy Commission, "This will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, mostly imported, and will be a major contribution to global efforts to combat climate change." Because of its inherent safety, they expect that similar designs could be set up "within" populated cities, like Mumbai or Delhi.
India's government is also developing up to 62, mostly thorium reactors, which it expects to be operational by 2025. It is the "only country in the world with a detailed, funded, government-approved plan" to focus on thorium-based nuclear power. The country currently gets under 2% of its electricity from nuclear power, with the rest coming from coal (60%), hydroelectricity (16%), other renewable sources (12%) and natural gas (9%). It expects to produce around 25% of its electricity from nuclear power.:144 In 2009 the chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission said that India has a "long-term objective goal of becoming energy-independent based on its vast thorium resources."
In late June 2012, India announced that their "first commercial fast reactor" was near completion making India the most advanced country in thorium research." We have huge reserves of thorium. The challenge is to develop technology for converting this to fissile material," stated their former Chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission. That vision of using thorium in place of uranium was set out in the 1950s by physicist Homi Bhabha. India's first commercial fast breeder reactor — the 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) — is approaching completion at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu.
As of July 2013 the major equipment of the PFBR had been erected and the loading of "dummy" fuels in peripheral locations was in progress. The reactor was expected to go critical by September 2014.
The Centre had sanctioned Rs. 5,677 crore for building the PFBR and “we will definitely build the reactor within that amount,” Mr. Kumar asserted. The original cost of the project was Rs. 3,492 crore, revised to Rs. 5,677 crore. Electricity generated from the PFBR would be sold to the State Electricity Boards at Rs. 4.44 a unit. BHAVINI builds breeder reactors in India. India's 300 MWe AHWR (pressurized heavy water reactor) reactor began construction in 2011. The design envisages a start up with reactor grade plutonium that will breed U-233 from Th-232. Thereafter thorium is to be the only fuel.https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium-based_nuclear_power