Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated both Indian and Russian atomic energy scientists after the second unit at Kudankulam achieved criticality the previous evening.
“Second reactor at Kudankulam became critical yesterday. This is a piece of great news, which makes us happy. I congratulate the atomic energy scientists, both from Indian and the Russian side for this major technological success,” tweeted the Prime Minister, who is in Kenya on the last leg of his four-nation tour to the African continent.
The second unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP 2) attained first criticality at 8.56 pm on Sunday. It will add 1000 MWe electricity to the southern grid and raise the contribution of nuclear power in the country to 6780 MWe.
“In the next three months, the second unit will reach to 100 per cent power and will operate at 1,000 MW,” HN Sahu, Station Director of first and second units, told IANS.
He said in the next one month the second unit is expected to generate 430 MW and the unit will be connected to the grid.
As per procedure, the power generation will be gradually increased to 50%, then to 75%, 90% and finally to 100 per cent.
However till commercial generation begins, the unit will not be earning much on the power it feeds into the Tamil Nadu power grid as it is “infirm power” or unpredictable power.
Meanwhile, the components for the third and fourth units have started arriving at Kudankulam, Sahu said.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) has built two 1,000 MW nuclear power stations at Kudankulam in Tirunelvelli district around 650 km from Chennai with the equipments supplied by the Russian Federation.
Construction activities for two more 1,000 MW units have started involving an outlay of around Rs 40,000 crore.