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Home News Power Sector News Kudankulam Nuclear plant lights up after 12 years

Kudankulam Nuclear plant lights up after 12 years

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KudankulamAfter years of delay due to technical glitches and protests, the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in southern Tamil Nadu went on-stream on 22-10-2013. At 2.45am, unit-1 began transmitting 160MW of electricity to the southern grid. The Tirunelveli plant became functional more than a decade after construction began in 2001 and in the face of resistance from residents spooked by Japan's Fukushima crisis. The cost on the two units has so far exceeded Rs 14,000 crore.

The synchronization process of feeding power to the grid took place even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wound up his visit to Moscow where talks were held for the supply of two more 1,000MW Russian reactors for Kudankulam. When fully commissioned, Kudankulam will be India's largest nuclear power plant.



"Last night, 160MW was connected to the southern grid. This will be increased after checking the generators and conducting other tests," site director R S Sundar told TOI. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has approved a generation of 500MW, he said. Once the reactor attains 50% of its generation capacity, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd ( NPCIL) will have to submit a proposal to AERB to enhance the plant's capacity.

However, generation has now stopped. The reactor will continue to produce steam though. "After two days, the turbine will be restarted and steam will be passed on to it to produce power," said NPCIL's executive director (corporate planning and communications) N Nagaich. "This is the normal procedure for any reactor, and we are following it for unit 1."

Unit 1 became critical at midnight on July 13 and since then various tests and procedures have been conducted to resolve problems with safety valves. Conceived in 1988, construction began in 2001. The first unit was to be commissioned in 2007, but the project was delayed at every stage. A persistent safety valve problem was among the toughest hurdles faced by a team comprising Indian and Russian engineers. The second unit with a similar capacity of 1,000MW is scheduled to be commissioned in June 2014, but is likely to miss the deadline.

The plant was closed from October 2011 to May 2012 following protests by anti-nuclear activists. Unit 1 with a capacity of 1,000MW is a new type of reactor built in Russia called Voda Voda Energo Reactor (VVER). It is the first pressurized water reactor in the light water reactor category in the country. Russian authorities said such reactors are used in Ukraine and China. Ukraine has six units of 1,000MW capacity, similar to the Kudankulam unit, at Zaporizhzhia.

Tamil Nadu will be the main beneficiary when unit-1 attains full capacity — the state will get 560MW of the 1,000MW it will produce.

The synchronization process of feeding power to the grid took place even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wound up his visit to Moscow where talks were held for the supply of two more 1,000MW Russian reactors for Kudankulam. When fully commissioned, Kudankulam will be India's largest nuclear power plant.

"Last night, 160MW was connected to the southern grid. This will be increased after checking the generators and conducting other tests," site director R S Sundar told TOI. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has approved a generation of 500MW, he said. Once the reactor attains 50% of its generation capacity, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd ( NPCIL) will have to submit a proposal to AERB to enhance the plant's capacity.

However, generation has now stopped. The reactor will continue to produce steam though. "After two days, the turbine will be restarted and steam will be passed on to it to produce power," said NPCIL's executive director (corporate planning and communications) N Nagaich. "This is the normal procedure for any reactor, and we are following it for unit 1."

Unit 1 became critical at midnight on July 13 and since then various tests and procedures have been conducted to resolve problems with safety valves. Conceived in 1988, construction began in 2001. The first unit was to be commissioned in 2007, but the project was delayed at every stage. A persistent safety valve problem was among the toughest hurdles faced by a team comprising Indian and Russian engineers. The second unit with a similar capacity of 1,000MW is scheduled to be commissioned in June 2014, but is likely to miss the deadline.

The plant was closed from October 2011 to May 2012 following protests by anti-nuclear activists. Unit 1 with a capacity of 1,000MW is a new type of reactor built in Russia called Voda Voda Energo Reactor (VVER). It is the first pressurized water reactor in the light water reactor category in the country. Russian authorities said such reactors are used in Ukraine and China. Ukraine has six units of 1,000MW capacity, similar to the Kudankulam unit, at Zaporizhzhia.

Tamil Nadu will be the main beneficiary when unit-1 attains full capacity — the state will get 560MW of the 1,000MW it will produce.

Source - TOI

 

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