Nuclear Power Current Affairs - 2020

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K-4 Nuclear capable Underwater missile test fired by India

On January 19, 2020, India test fired K4, a 3,500 km range nuclear capable missile successfully. The missile is meant for Arihant-class submarines. Arihant is the first indigenously manufactured nuclear submarine.


The K4 missile was test fired from the East Coast of Andhra Pradesh from an underwater pontoon. India already operates Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile, K-15. However, the range of K-15 is limited to 750 km. The other under water missile being developed by India is BO-5, whose range is 700-km. India has also begun its research on K-5 whose target is 5,000 km.

K series missiles

The K-4 is an intermediate-range submarine launched ballistic missile. The K-series missiles are named after former president APJ Abdul Kalam. They are much faster than Agni missiles. The other K-series missiles are K-15, K-5 and K-6. The K-5 and K-6 are under development by DRDO.

The K-15 missiles also known as Sagarika missiles is a replica to the land-based Shaurya missile. The only difference is that K-15 are compatible to be deployed from submarines. The K-15 missile gets help from Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

India’s Nuclear Arsenal

India, today, holds 130 to 140 nuclear weapons. It holds 8,300 kg of plutonium that is capable of producing 1000 more nuclear weapons.

India has not signed the Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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Jaitapur nuclear plant: France’s EDF and GE sign deal to build 6 nuclear reactors

French state-run power utility EDF and American conglomerate General Electric (GE) have signed strategic cooperation agreement with State-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) to build for construction of 6 EPR (European Pressurized Reactors) type nuclear reactors of capacity 1,650 megawatt (MW) each at Jaitapur nuclear plant in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra.

Key Facts

This strategic cooperation agreement is for long term partnership for construction of conventional island on each of 6 reactor units of Jaitapur nuclear plant. GE Power will design conventional island for the plant and supply its main components. EDF will supply EPR technology and will be responsible for building and coordinating industrial partners for this project. It will be responsible for engineering integration covering entire project (nuclear island, conventional island and auxiliary systems) and will provide all the requisite input data.

Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant

It is proposed 9900 MW nuclear power project to come at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra (west coast of India). State-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is builder and operator of this plant. It will be built under Indo-France Civil Nuclear Deal signed in December 2010.

It will have 6 EPR designed and developed by Areva of France, each of 1650 MW, thus totalling 9900 MW. EPR is third generation pressurised water reactors (PWR). The estimated cost of this project was around US $15 billion (Rs. 1,000 billion). Consortium of French financial institutions will finance this project as a loan.

The layout of nuclear power plant comprises two major parts — nuclear island and conventional (turbine) island. The nuclear island is heart of nuclear power plant, while conventional (turbine) island houses key component which extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam and converts it into electrical energy.

On completion, Jaitapur power plant would be world’s largest nuclear power generating station by net electrical power rating. It will also play pivotal role in achieving Union Government’s ambitious target of 22,480 mw nuclear power generation capacity by 2031.

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