Indian reactor breaks operating record

25 October 2018

Unit 1 of India's Kaiga nuclear power plant has completed its 895th day of continuous operation, a new world record for continuous operation of a pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) and the second-longest for a nuclear power reactor of any type.

Kaiga nuclear power plant (Image: NPCIL)

The 220 MWe Indian-designed and domestically fuelled reactor has now operated without a break since 13 May 2016, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) announced today.

The previous operating record for a PHWR of 894 days was set in October 1994 by the Pickering 7 reactor in Canada. The current world record for continuous operation for a commercial nuclear power reactor of any type is held by unit 2 of the UK's Heysham II plant, an advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) which had completed an unbroken 940 days in service when it was taken offline for a scheduled maintenance outage in September 2016.

PHWRs and AGRs are designed to be refuelled without being shut down first, and Indian reactors have achieved operating runs of over a year 28 times, NPCIL said. Kaiga 1 is one of three Indian reactors to have operated continuously for more than two years, alongside Rajasthan unit 3, with 777 days of continuous operation, and Rajasthan 5, with 765 days.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News