A restart of the first 1,000-MWe first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), which was shut down in September on account of an unforeseen “mechanical malfunction” to a vital component of the turbine, has been extended by at least a fortnight.
Originally slated for resumption of operations by the first week of December, the Russian VVER unit is now unlikely to be up until December 21, according to the latest status report filed by the operator — the state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) — with the grid manager.
The incident-prone Unit 1 of the atomic power project had earlier faced an outage in October last year, when it was test synchronised with the southern grid. The unit did not holding for long and tripped after being connected to the grid.
In light of the latest incident, NPCIL officials said they are simultaneously working on getting the first unit up and running while also ensuring that a recurrence of such an event in the second 1,000 MWe unit of Kudankulam, which is currently under commissioning and is being prepared for hot run, is prevented.
The Unit 1 of the KKNPP, which was synchronised to the grid in October, 2013, was shutdown on the afternoon of September 26 this year on account of “certain observations in its turbine during its operation”.
The turbine has, subsequently, been opened and its various components have been inspected, officials said. “The required rectification job based on the recommendations of the Russian manufacturers (Russian firm Atomstroyexport) are nearing completion,” an official said.
The reactor was stopped for mandatory tests prior to the start of commercial power generation. KKNPP site director RS Sundar, in a statement after the outage in September, said that the reactor was expected to be back in service in eight weeks.
After the turbine generator operated for 4,701 hours, generating 282.50 crore units of electricity, it was stopped on July 30 for the “annual maintenance and mandatory tests” usually done on the VVER reactors.