Kudankulam Unit 2 generates full capacity of 1,000 MW

Chennai, Jan 22 (IANS) The second 1,000 MW atomic power reactor at the Kundankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu has attained its maximum capacity, the Russian builders announced on Sunday.

“Kudankulam NPP Unit No 2 has for the first time reached 100 per cent power level,” state-run Rosatom subsidiary ASE Group said in a statement.

“This night (Saturday) after completing the physical experiments stage at 90 per cent power level and after obtaining the permission of the Indian regulatory authority, the reactor plant was brought to 100 per cent nominal level of neutron power,” it said.

“This stage will be followed by 72-hour tests with further transition to the stage of one-year warranty operation of the power unit,” ASE Group Vice President for South Asia Andrey Lebedev said in the statement.

“It is planned to perform comprehensive dynamic tests for 15 days, which will confirm the design parameters of the power unit main system and its dynamic stability in certain modes of disturbance of normal operation,” he added.

The unit went critical or started nuclear fission on July 10, 2016 and was connected to the southern grid on August 29. After operating it for some time, the unit was disconnected for testing the parameters.

Thereafter, power generation was gradually increased at several stages.

“The permit for loading of the fuel assemblies was issued by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Body of India (AERB) after a detailed review of all the safety reports prepared earlier,” the statement said.

R.S.Sundar, the KNPP Site Director, told IANS: “We reached 100 per cent power levels. We will have to do some tests and get AERB’s (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) clearance. After the tests we will bring down the power levels to 90 per cent and continue operating.”

Queried about the restarting of the first unit, he said: “We will restart the first unit by this weekend. We can touch the peak power generation of 1,000 MW in three day’s time.”

Meanwhile, sources at the Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCIL), the operators of KNPP, have confirmed that the second reactor was behaving exceptionally well as it reached maximum generation capacity.

Construction work for units 3 and 4 has started in October last year.