What is India’s 3-Phase Nuclear Power Programme?


In view of the limited fossil fuel availability with the country, the relevance of Nuclear Power in meeting the short and long term needs of our energy was recognised right at the initial stage. From the very beginning, as a long term strategy, the Nuclear Power Programme formulated by Dr. Homi Bhabha embarked on the three stage nuclear power programme, linking the fuel cycle of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) and Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) for Judicious utilisation  of our limited reserves of Uranium and vast Thorium reserves. The emphasis of the programme was self-reliance and thorium utilisation as a long term objective. The PHWR was chosen due to extensive research and development facilities covering diverse areas for supporting technology absorption.

The 3-stage of our Nuclear Power Programme are :
  • Stage-I : envisages, construction of Natural Uranium, Heavy Water Moderated and Cooled Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs). Spent fuel from these reactors is reprocessed to obtain Plutonium.
  • Stage-II : evisages, construction of Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs) fuelled by Plutonium produced in stage-I. These reactors would also breed U-233 from Thorium.
  • Stage-III : would comprise power reactors using U-233 / Thorium as fuel.

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