Energy plays an important role in determining the development of a country. Electricity can be produced by different methods such as hydroelectric, thermal and nuclear generations. A large amount of electricity can be generated even with a small amount of nuclear fuel.
Industrialised countries like Belgium, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Spain generate more than 30% of their total electric power by using many nuclear reactors. There is a major programme for the production of nuclear power in India. However, it is still about 4% of the total power being generated in our country. A number of nuclear reactors are in operation at present in India. Some of them are research reactors and the others are power reactors. Dr. Homi Bhabha, the pioneer of nuclear power programme in India took efforts to start the first and major nuclear reactor in India. This nuclear research centre located at Trombay in Mumbai is called Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). Apsara, Cirus, Zerlina, Purnima and Dhruva are the research reactors located at BARC.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) is the public sector company which owns, constructs and operates nuclear power plants in India. NPCIL has a plan to put up a total installed nuclear power capacity of 20,000 MWe (Megawatt energy) by the year 2020.
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