GS-3, Science & Tech, Uncategorized

Cabinet approves construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR)

1- The total installed capacity of the Plants will be 7000 MW.
2- India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants.
3- Another 6700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come onstream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction.

What is pressurised heavy water reactor?

1- PHWR uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and neutron moderator.
2- The heavy water coolant is kept under pressure, allowing it to be heated to higher
temperatures without boiling, much as in a pressurized water reactor.
3- While heavy water is significantly more expensive than ordinary light water, it creates greatly enhanced neutron economy, allowing the reactor to operate without fuel-enrichment facilities (offsetting the additional expense of the heavy water) and enhancing the ability of the reactor to make use of alternate fuel cycles.

Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)

  • The PWR uses regular water as a coolant.
  • The primary cooling water is kept at very high pressure so it does not boil.
  • In a PWR, the primary coolant (water) is pumped under high pressure to the reactor core where it is heated by the energy generated by the fission of atoms.
  • The heated water then flows to a steam generator where it transfers its thermal energy to a secondary system where steam is generated and flows to turbines which, in turn, spin an electric generator.

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