Chennai, Aug 28:
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is expected to start commercial operations of its first 1,000 MW unit at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) next month, said a senior official Thursday.
“We have to get the AERB’s (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) permission to restart the unit. The meeting with AERB is slated Aug 30,” the official told IANS preferring anonymity.
He said the unit, after restarting, would take around one week to reach its full power levels.
He said all the mandatory tests have been completed and the reports have been submitted to AERB.
India’s atomic power plant operator NPCIL is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km from here. The total outlay for the project is over Rs.17,000 crore.
The KNPP is India’s first pressurised water reactor belonging to the light water reactor category.
The first unit attained criticality July 2013, which is the beginning of the fission process.
Normally, the NPCIL announces the date of the postponement of commercial operations around 15th of every month. But till this time, no such announcement has been made giving a hope that the first unit would start commercial operations in August.
As of July 2014, the physical progress of the unit stands at 99.95 percent.
During the trial run, though the KNPP fed the southern grid with power, it is considered as infirm power and NPCIL will not get the full revenue.
Queried about the status of the second unit, the official said AERB’s permission is awaited to carry out the hot run or operating the nuclear steam supply systems with the dummy fuel.
The dummy fuel assemblies, made of lead instead of uranium are the exact replica of the actual nuclear fuel assemblies, both in dimension and weight.
During the hot run process, the nominal parameters of the plant are achieved and tests are conducted for design evaluation of the plant. After this, the nuclear fuel is loaded and the reactor is made critical – the time when the fission process start.
The second 1,000 MW is expected to start commercial operations in March 2015 on a date which is under review.
The physical progress of the unit stands at 97.44 percent as on July 2014.