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Indian Kudankulam NPP connected to network to reach 75% capacity

January 16, 2014, 17:37 UTC+3 NEW DELHI
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NEW DELHI, January 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The first power-generating unit of the main facility of Russian-Indian co-operation in the atomic energy industry — Kudankulam nuclear power plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, has again been connected to the power network to reach 75% of its capacity, a source close to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“After a successful revision of the equipment and systems, the first power unit of the Kudankulam NPP has again been connected to the network,” he said. “The next stage will be an operation to bring the power unit to 75% of capacity for conducting tests under the program to put the unit into operation.”

Thus, the gradual rise of the NPP capacity is going successfully.

The trial run at 50% was completed successfully and proved the efficiency of all systems and equipment. Unit 1 was synchronized to the power grid on October 22, 2013, generating 160 MWe. On December 11, the unit reached 50% of its capacity — these tests were also successful.

In mid-July 2013, India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) gave the green light to the launching of the first unit at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant. The Board granted Clearance for the First Approach to Criticality (FAC) of Unit 1 as the next major stage of its commissioning. FAC is the commencement of the controlled nuclear fission process for the first time and is a step towards the subsequent beginning of power production in a nuclear reactor, it explained.

As for the construction of the second power unit, the NPCIL source said, “The preparation for the physical start-up beginning stage is underway at it.” “The work is going in the normal mode. There have been no failures in the operation of the systems and equipment,” he added.

India plans to build by 2017 a total of 19 nuclear power units with the total capacity of 17.4 thousand megawatts, eight of which will be built with the participation of other countries. In particular, it plans to build with Russia’s technical assistance the third and fourth power units at the Kudankulam NPP with the capacity of 1,000 megawatts each. With the participation of the United States and Japan, India plans to build the Mithi Virdi nuclear power plant in Gujarat (two units with capacity of 1.1 megawatts each) and Kovvada NPP in the state of Andhra Pradesh (two units with capacity of 1.5 megawatts each). In the state of Maharashtra it is planned to build under the French project the Jaitapur NPP (two units with capacity of 1.65 megawatts).

The Kudankulam NPP will supply electricity not only to the state of Tamil Nadu, where it is located, but also the whole south of India.

In 2010, Russia and India signed a roadmap for serial construction of up to 14-16 nuclear power units in the country, using Russian project design solutions.

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