The second unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu has attained its generation capacity of 1,000 MWe and will soon start commercial power generation.
The unit is India’s 22nd nuclear power reactor and among the largest in the country. “With the nuclear reactor attaining generation capacity India’s nuclear-power generation has now risen to 6,780 MWe,” said R.S. Sundar, site director, KNPP, on Republic Day in Chettikulam village.
Construction of the nuclear power plant project, which is an Indo-Russian joint venture, started in 2002 but was delayed because of sustained opposition from the local communities who argued that it was unsafe.
The first unit was synchronised with the southern power grid in 2013, started commercial operations the next year, and is producing electricity to its stipulated limit of 1000 MWe. This unit has generated 13,197 million units of power, according to Sundar.
The second reactor attained criticality in July 2016 and was connected to the power grid in August.
The cost of the two units was pegged at R 13,171 crore initially but later revised to R 17,270 crore.
The construction for units 3 and 4 began in April 2016. Two more units are planned at the site. Once all six units are commissioned the project will have 6,000 MW capacity.