Unit 2 of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has for the first time reached 100% of its operating capacity. ASE Group said yesterday the milestone had been achieved during the night of 22 January, following the successful completion of physical tests at the 90% capacity level and the relevant permission from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Body of India (AERB) had been received.
ASE Group - the engineering subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom - said the unit would now undergo 72-hour tests "with further transition to the stage of one-year warranty operation". Its vice president for South Asia, Andrey Lebedev, said 15 days of comprehensive dynamic tests will now be carried out "to confirm the design parameters of the power unit's main system and its dynamic stability in certain modes of disturbance of normal operation."
According to local media, the plant's site director, RS Sundar, said that, following the tests, the unit's capacity level would be brought down to 90% and would continue operations. Unit 1 is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance work and would be back online "by the weekend", Sundar reportedly said.
The Kudankulam plant is of the Atomenergoproekt design with VVER-1000 power units.
The physical start-up of unit 2 started on 11 May last year, when the first of 163 fuel assemblies was loaded into the reactor. The fuel loading operation, which was witnessed by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, was completed on 19 May, four days ahead of schedule. On 28 June, the AERB gave the go-ahead for the unit to be brought to the minimum controlled power level, which it achieved on 10 July.
In August last year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated unit 1 of the Kudankulam plant, which was already in service, having started commercial operation on 31 December 2014. Output from Kudankulam 1 is being supplied to India's southern grid and divided between five states: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry.
At the end of the same month, unit 2 of the plant was connected to the electricity grid, becoming India's 22nd operating power reactor.
In October, Modi and Putin officially launched the second phase of the Kudankulam plant, announcing that they had finalized the general framework agreement and credit protocol on construction of units 5 and 6.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News