Weeks after the second 1000 MWe unit at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant attained criticality, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has
given its nod for generating electricity from the reactor, a top KNPP official said on Monday.
“The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Unit-2 has achieved a critical milestone. It first attained criticality on July 10 at 20.56 hours. Having completed the mandatory tests, we have got permission from AERB yesterday for going ahead”, KNPP Site Director R S Sundar said in Kudankulam.
“We will be proceeding towards producing electricity from Unit-2. It is India’s 22nd Nuclear Power Reactor and this will add 1,000 MWe to the Southern grid and will further raise the contribution of nuclear power to 6,780 MWe”, he said in his speech on the occasion of 70th Independence Day celebrations.
The unit-I of the KNPP, an Indo-Russian joint venture, started commercial generation from December 31, 2014. Referring to the recent dedication of Unit-I by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said,”It is a very glorious occasion and significant milestone”.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who also participated in the dedication function through video conferencing, had sought steps for early commissioning of the second unit. Unit-1 has so far generated 10,900 million units of electricity since its synchronisation with the grid.
“Unit 1 is giving excellent performance from February 2016 and since then the reactor is operating continuously. I am very happy to share, today we have completed 175 days of continuous operation of Unit-1 (since its restart in February last after remaining shut for seven months for annual maintenance),” Sundar said.
On the expansion of KNPP, he said site excavation activities for Unit 3 and 4 had begun and so far six lakh cubic metres of soil excavation had been completed.
“We are abiding by the statutory clearance of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and all AERB stipulations. I am sure we soon expect first pour of concrete, a very major milestone towards construction of Unit 3 and 4”, he added.