Kudankulam n-plant to start commercial operations in October

Chennai, Sep 16 (IANS) Commercial operations of the first 1,000 MW unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) have once again been shifted to October, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said.

Atomic power operator NPCIL said on its website that the first KNPP unit is expected to start commercial operations October.

The project is 99.74 percent complete as on August 2013.

The NPCIL is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here.

KNPP is India's first pressurised water reactor belonging to the light water reactor category.

The first unit attained criticality, which is the beginning of the fission process for the first time, July 13.

The NPCIL had earlier said it would connect the first unit to the grid end August generating 400 MW power.

But that did not happen perhaps due to two condenser valve problem which seems to have got stuck. According to NPCIL officials, the problem is being set right and fine tuning works are on.

The second unit at KNPP is expected to start commercial operations in June next year. The unit has achieved progress of 95.50 percent as in August.

The NPCIL has loaded dummy fuel assemblies in the second unit. The dummy fuel assemblies are made of lead instead of uranium, are the exact replica of the actual nuclear fuel assemblies, both in dimension and weight.

A total of 163 dummy fuel assemblies will be loaded into the core.

The dummy fuel assemblies are loaded into the reactor for conducting full-scale thermo-hydraulic tests of the reactor systems, prior to the loading of the actual fuel, so as to assess the design performance of the systems.

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