Integrity test completed at Kudankulam 1

28 January 2011

The first of two Russian-supplied 950 MWe VVER pressurized water reactors currently being built by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu state has moved closer to start-up with the successful completion of the integrity test of the reactor containment. The test, which began on 16 January, is required to demonstrate the strength and integrity of the reactor and its associated closed primary coolant pipelines, secondary coolant circuits, as well as the concrete reactor containment building. NPCIL said that the test, carried out at a pressure of 0.46 MPa (4.6 kg/cm2), was completed on 25 January. The company noted, "The successful completion of this test has paved the way for approach to criticality this quarter." The second VVER-1000 reactor being constructed at Kudankulam is expected to achieve first criticality by the end of 2011. According to a report in The Hindu, the Indian government is expected to give approval for the start of construction of two further Russian-supplied reactors at the site in May or June.