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Small Modular Reactors in India

Small Modular Reactors Latest News

The minister said that the participation of private sector and Start-ups needs to be explored in development of Small Modular Reactors Technology in India.

Technology sharing and availability of funding are the two crucial aspects for ensuring commercial availability of SMR technology.


Small Modular Reactors (SMR) Feasibility Study

  • They are a category of advanced nuclear reactors that have a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) per unit.
  • The capacity of SMRs is about one-third of the generating capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors.
  • Working: SMRs work on similar principles as conventional nuclear reactors by using thermal energy from nuclear fission to generate electrical power.


Features of SMR Modular Reactors

  • Easy to set up: SMRs are factory fabricated and can be operated by any agency. They need not be set up on location like traditional nuclear power plants.
  • Low Cost: The cost of operation of SMRs is very low compared to conventional plants. They also require less area to set up.
  • Private participation: There is a potential for larger participation of the private sector. New inventions can make the technology cost-effective.
  • Reduced fuel Usage: SMRs have lower fuel requirements. They can operate up to 30 years without refueling, making them suitable for using in remote areas where transport of fuel is not feasible.
  • High Safety: SMRs are safer to operate due to their low fuel use and operating capacity. Their radioactivity is also lower.
    • In addition, they do not need external interference to shut down if needed.


Applications of Small Modular Reactors in India

  • Synergetic hybrid energy systems: SMRs can be used in synergetic hybrid energy systems, which combine nuclear energy and alternate resources to generate electricity.
  • Baseload power: SMRs can be used to provide baseload electricity, which is the minimum amount of electricity that is always in demand.


Nuclear Energy

  • Nuclear energyis obtained from the nucleus, the core of atoms, made up of protons and neutrons.
    • This energy is produced in two ways: fission – when nuclei of atoms split into several parts – or fusion – when nuclei fuse together.
    • Nuclear energy harnessed around the world currently to produce electricity is through nuclear fission as nuclear fusion is still at nascent phase.
  • Nuclear fission: During nuclear fission reaction, the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller nuclei, while releasing
    • The heat generated during release of energy can be converted into electricity in a nuclear power plant.
  • Nuclear Fusion: During nuclear fusion reaction, two light nuclei merge to form a single heavier
    • The process releases energy, which can be converted into electricity in a power plant.


Importance of Nuclear Energy in India

  • Meeting net-zero targets: The net-zero targets can be achieved through a combination of various clean energy sources, including nuclear power. Nuclear energy has one of the lowest carbon footprints.
  • Reduce import of coal: Increasing nuclear power production can reduce demand on coal imports for thermal power generation.
  • Energy Security: Nuclear energy has the potential to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, which are highly volatile in terms of price as well as availability.

UPSC Mains Result 2022


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