India’s three-stage nuclear power programme is formulated to achieve country’s long term energy security and independence, through the use of uranium and vast thorium reserves. The three stages are:
Natural uranium fuelled Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs)
Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs) utilizing plutonium based fuel
Advanced nuclear power systems for utilization of thorium
The first two stages, natural uranium-fuelled heavy water reactors (First stage) and plutonium-fuelled fast breeder reactors (second stage) are intended to ngenerate sufficient fissile material from India’s limited uranium resources, so that all vast thorium reserves can be fully utilized in the third stage of nuclear power program.
In stage three of program, self-sustaining advanced nuclear power systems will use Thorium-232-U-233 fuel to generate power, utilising large resources of thorium and thus ensuring long term energy security and independence.
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is carrying out indigenous Research and Development (R&D) activities for development of Advanced Nuclear Power systems to meet the long term energy requirements of the country in line with the three-stage nuclear power programme.