KKNPP unit II likely to start generating power from July

After months of delay, second unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is expected to start power generation from July

Published: 30th June 2016 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2016 07:49 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: After months of delay, the second unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is expected to start power generation from July.

Before the commencement of electricity generation, several agencies like the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) have to give their nod.

The AERB has already given its nod to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), a PSU under the Department of Atomic Energy that operates the plant, to go ahead with the criticality process.

"Tomorrow, a team of Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) is expected to visit the plant. The plant is expected to start after that," said R S Sundar, Site Director.

He, however, refused to give any specific date when the plant will start generating electricity, but said it is likely to "happen next month".

Unit 1 and 2 of the KKNPP VVER reactors are being built with the collaboration with the Russians. Each reactor has the capacity to generate 1000 MW of electricity. The first unit started generating power in October 2013. But the plant saw several breakdowns during its operation following which it had to be shut down for sometime to undertake repairs work.

Currently, India roughly generates around 5580 MW of nuclear power of which around 1000 MW is generated by KKNPP unit 1, making it the largest contributor of atomic energy in the country. Once the unit 2 starts generating power, the capacity will go up to 6580 MW, of which the KKNPP alone will contribute to around 2000 MW.

Meanwhile, the Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) unit 1 in Gujarat which has been shutdown since March due to radioactive leak is yet to start operations, almost four and half months after the incident.

Sources said the plant may take a few more months to see a full recovery.

KAPS unit 1, an indigenously built Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR), was commissioned on May 6, 1993 with a capacity of 220 MW. Of the total nuclear power generated in India, which is around 5,780 MW (before the breakdown of KAPS), it roughly contributed around 4.5 per cent.


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