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Commercial generation by Kudankulam first reactor in 45 days


Russian firm’s protocol makes the grind harder for plant engineers


The first reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, which started producing power to its maximum capacity of 1,000 MWe on June 7, is likely to begin commercial generation in the next 45 days at the end of mandatory tests.


The reactor worked at its maximum capacity for over a week. Then, the generation was brought down to 900 MWe as instructed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The KKNPP management will submit to the Board the results of the tests.


“The reactor has been functioning smoothly after it attained criticality a year ago. After it was synchronised with the southern grid in October last, power generation was increased to the maximum capacity.


The reactor will be shutdown within a week for maintenance and mandatory tests that will take a month. We expect the reactor to start commercial generation in 45 days,” R.S. Sundar, Site Director, KKNPP, told The Hindu.


Once the reactor begins commercial generation, the power-starved Tamil Nadu, which is now getting infirm power (electricity generated according to the needs of trial operation of a unit) from the KKNPP, will get its share of 462 MWe as per an agreement it has signed with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. It should try to get the unallocated 150 MWe through a fresh agreement after Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry get their share of 221 MWe, 133 MWe and 34 MWe respectively, says a senior official of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.