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Home News Power Sector News Desalination plant at Kudankulam ready for commissioning

Desalination plant at Kudankulam ready for commissioning

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The desalination plant at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power ProjectA massive plant, which can produce about three lakh litres of desalinated water an hour, is all set to be commissioned soon at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) in Tamil Nadu.K.C. Purohit, project director, said: “The desalination plant has been erected. It has been charged with power supply. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant will not depend on the Pechiparai reservoir” in the neighbouring Kanyakumari district for its water needs.

Two Russian reactors of 1,000 MWe each are under construction at Kudankulam. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is building them on the coast.

Mr. Purohit called the desalination plant “a very big plant” which employed “high technology.” The desalinated water, “free of minerals to a great extent,” would be used to meet the requirements of both the nuclear power plant and the township where NPCIL employees lived with their families. M. Kasinath Balaji, chief superintendent, KKNPP, said: “All checks have been done. In a few days, we will be producing good water.”

The plant uses the mechanical vapour compression technology to produce potable water. It has four streams. Sea water from the Gulf of Mannar will be heated up to 70 degrees Celsius and sprayed inside the vacuum developed in the chambers in the streams.

Part of the hot water will evaporate and this vapour will be condensed into fresh water. It will be further purified in a demineralisation plant. The pure supply will be used as primary and secondary coolant in the reactor, and as “make-up” water during operations.In addition, it will meet potable water requirements at the plant site itself.

Roughly, half of the sea water used will be converted into potable water. For instance, out of 222 cubic metres, 106 cubic metres of good water will be produced. The remaining water, after it is cooled, will be pumped back into the sea.

Mr. Balaji said: “Basically, Kudankulam will not depend on the water resources [such as the Pechiparai reservoir] meant for the public. It costs five paise to produce a litre of good water.”

According to A. Parthiban, scientific officer, KKNPP, only three persons are required to operate the desalination plant. It has been erected on a turnkey basis by Tata Projects in conjunction with IDE Technologies Limited, Israel.

Meanwhile, Mr. Purohit said, “95 per cent of the civil work on the first unit has been completed. The reactor has already been erected. All turbine components have been installed. The turbine is fully ready.”

The enriched uranium fuel assemblies will be loaded into the first reactor in the second quarter of 2009. The reactor will reach criticality a couple of months later. The second unit is eight months behind the first.

Source - Hindu

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