India has confirmed it has broken ground on its 25th nuclear reactor at the Rajasthan atomic power station (RAPS) in the north-west of the country.

Located approximately 60 km from Rajasthan’s industrial city of Kota, the 700 MW indigenous designed pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) is scheduled to be completed by 2016.

RAPS already operates six PHWRs at the site making the new reactor the seventh.

The 700 MW PHWR was designed by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) by scaling up the design of its 540 MW PHWRs that have been operating at the Tarapur atomic power station in the state of Maharashtra since 2005.

Srikumar Banerjee, chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, said: “The 540 MW PHWR at Tarapur was built by NPCIL in a record time of four years and ten months. We will try to beat that record.”

RAPS has also said that it has begun initial excavation work for an eighth reactor at the site, which it says will be another 700 MW PHWR.

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