RAPP 5 exceeds 740 days of uninterrupted operation

12 August 2014

Clarification: The UK's Torness 2, an Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor, ran for 825 days between 4 August 1997 and 7 November 1999 making it the second-longest run reactor at the time of this article. 

The fifth unit at India's Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) has operated continuously for more than 740 days. Only one other reactor - Canada's Pickering 7 - has operated for a longer continuous period.

Rajasthan 5 and 6 460 (DAE)
RAPP units 5 and 6 (Image: Department of Atomic Energy)

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) reported that as of 11 August, the 202 MWe pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR) has continuously operated for 739 days. Over this period, RAPP 5 has generated 4120 GWh of electricity. The unit is scheduled to shut for routine maintenance and inspection on 6 September, by when it would have operated continuously for 765 days.

The indigenously designed and constructed reactor achieved first criticality in November 2009 and was connected to the grid the following month. It entered commercial operation in February 2010, since when it has generated a total of 8525 GWh of electricity.

NPCIL said, "This remarkable achievement demonstrates the country's technological maturity in its nuclear power program." The company added that it is also "a reflection of NPCIL's dedication to the safe and reliable operation of our plants and is a tribute to the skill, dedication and teamwork displayed by the people who work here."

The longest operating period for any power reactor belongs to Ontario Power Generation's Pickering 7, which was shut down on 7 October 1994 after operating continuously for 894 days. That reactor is also a PHWR, which can be refuelled while online.

The world record for continuous operation of light water reactors, which need to be shut down for refuelling, resides with Exelon's LaSalle 2 boiling water reactor. In February 2007 that unit shut down after a run of 739 days, shortly after unit 1 at the plant completed a 711-day uninterrupted generation run.

Calvert Cliffs 2 set a world record for continuous operation of a pressurized water reactor in February 2009, having operated without interruption for 693 days.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News