India is actively exploring the potential of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) as a clean and sustainable energy option to meet its growing demands. SMRs are a class of nuclear reactors that are smaller in size and can be built in a modular fashion. While operational SMR projects currently exist only in China and Russia, several countries, including India, are developing SMRs.

Advantages of Small Modular Reactors

SMRs offer several advantages over conventional nuclear power plants. The modularized construction of SMRs allows for factory-built units that can be easily transported and assembled on-site. This approach reduces the initial capital and construction time required compared to larger reactors. SMRs also have enhanced safety features, scalability, and flexibility, making them a promising solution for clean, reliable, and affordable nuclear power.

India's Energy Transition Goals

India has set ambitious goals for its energy transition, aiming for zero emissions by 2070. As part of this transition, India plans to diversify its energy mix and increase its nuclear power capacity. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) aims to produce 2,000 MW of nuclear power by 2032, 4,200 MW by 2035, and 20,000 MW by 2050. To achieve these goals, India is considering the deployment of SMRs.

Private Sector Participation And Policy Framework

India recognizes the importance of private sector participation in the development of SMR technology. Allowing private players to enter the nuclear sector can facilitate the quick deployment of SMRs and help fulfill India's commitment to clean energy transition. The Indian government is exploring measures to attract private sector investment and create a favourable policy framework for SMR deployment.

Challenges And Considerations

While SMRs hold promise, their deployment, policy framework, safety, and financing come with considerable challenges. India's nuclear regulatory body, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, has introduced new initiatives to enhance safety and reduce risks associated with nuclear reactors. Additionally, the participation of private sector and start-ups needs to be explored further to ensure the successful development and deployment of SMRs.


India's interest in small modular nuclear reactors reflects its commitment to clean, reliable, and affordable energy sources. SMRs offer advantages such as enhanced safety features, scalability, and flexibility, making them a promising solution for India's energy transition goals. While challenges exist, India is actively exploring ways to overcome them and create a favourable environment for the development and deployment of SMRs.

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