KKNPP to start power generation in two months

KOODANKULAM, Apr 20: The first unit of the 2X1000 MW VVER nuclear reactor of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power project (KKNPP) was expected to attain criticality and start power generation in two months, as the preparation for commissioning the plant was progressing as planned, S K Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
He said KKNPP was awaiting clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to open the reactor pressure vessel for inspecting the internal components’ performance and subsequent loading of enriched uranium fuel rods.
He said work on commissioning of the first unit was in full swing. The hot run of the unit had been done a few months ago and a report of tests had been submitted to the AERB. We are expecting a review by the AERB and once the permission is obtained, the fine tuning of the equipment would be carried out. Before the interruption due to protests by the locals, 95 percent of the required tests had been conducted.
Mr Jain said “the integrated core cooling tests is scheduled in about a week. The opening of the pressure vessel after obtaining clearance from AERB is the next step. Once this is done, the dummy fuel will be removed and the reactor cleaned for another inspection by AERB”. After this, enriched uranium fuel would be loaded. It was expected that fuel loading might be taken up by mid June and criticality attained in the next few weeks, he added.
Asked about reports that some countries had decided to scrap nuclear power projects after Fukushima disaster, Russian expert Valery Limarenko rejected the reports and said infact, his company which was involved in the construction of 20 nuclear reactors in Russia and China, was holding talks with Bangladesh, Vietnam and Turkey for the construction of nuclear reactors in those countries.
Mr Limarenko said KKNPP incorporates several layers of the most modern safety features to ensure security of the workforce and the people living in the vicinity.
KKNPP, India’s largest civil nuclear programme, an Indo-Russia joint venture, was in the midst of controversy after the locals demanded that the Centre scrap the project. (UNI)