The first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant (KKNPP) attained its maximum capacity of 1000 MW on Saturday, thus becoming the largest electricity-generating plant of any type in the country.
Located in the Tirunelveli district, the plant’s commissioning was delayed for over a year because of anti-nuclear protestors who held up work citing safety concerns over the plant constructed with Russian help.
This is the 21st nuclear power reactor in the country and India’s first pressurised water reactor belonging to light water reactor category.
KKNPP unit 1 will add 1000 MW electricity to the southern grid and increase the contribution of nuclear power in the country to 5780 MW. Tamil Nadu will have the lion’s share of power generated.
“We are very happy to announce that at 1.20 pm, the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant attained its maximum capacity,” Atomic Energy Commission chairman, Dr R K Sinha, told HT.
RS Sundar, site director, KKNPP said, “We will continue at 1000 MW for 3-4 days. After that we will do more tests and then will go to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board with the results for getting a clearance for continuous supply of 1000 MW of power.”
“There was no tension as we have been operating the unit at 950 MW in the morning. All systems and components are operating satisfactorily,” he added.
Dr Sinha said that the second unit at Kudankulam was due for a full-pressure hydro-test.
“I think it should follow Kudankulam 1 with a gap of 8 months, subject to satisfying commissioning tests and regulatory approvals,” he said.