A. Batra, P. Nelson, “Safety, Safeguards and Security in Indian Nuclear Power Plants (3S-INPP)”, 52nd Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), Palm Desert, CA, July 17-21, 2011.
There is much interest in small nuclear power plants (NPPs), not least because of the possibility to add increments of production capacity for more modest commitments of capital than required by traditional 1000+ MWe light-water reactors. However, there is a paucity of experience in either building or operating small NPPs. If size be denominated in capacity rather than physical dimension, as appropriate to the concern about capital investment, then India with its fleet of approximately 200-MWe pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs), is practically unique globally in its extent of such experience. Presumably recognition of this advantage underlies much of the indication from leaders in the Indian Department of Atomic Energy that consideration is being given to exporting small PHWRs to other countries. Along with such plans comes a requirement to hold costs in check, in order to compete favorably with alternative technologies, while at the same time meeting the expectations of the international community for enhanced attention to the requirements of safeguards and security in nuclear power plants. There is, of course, some tension between these differing objectives. It has recently been suggested that a comprehensive design-level approach to safety, safeguards and security (the three S’s) offers much opportunity for cost savings and enhanced efficiency, thereby to a large extent resolving the tension noted above.