Tests to be conducted at Kudankulam nuclear plant

Chennai, Dec 26 : Mandatory tests prescribed by India's atomic regulator will be carried out at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project's (KNPP) first unit before the reactor power is increased, said a senior official.

"The tests are tentatively scheduled this week subject to the clearance from the Southern Regional Load Despatch Centre," KNPP site director R.S.Sundar said in a statement issued Thursday.

India's atomic power plant operator, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km from here. The total outlay for the project is over Rs.17,000 crore.

KNPP is India's first pressurised water reactor belonging to the light water reactor category.

The first unit attained criticality - the beginning of the fission process - in July 2013

In August, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board gave its nod to KNPP to raise the reactor power levels to 50 percent and for synchronisation of the unit with the power grid.

According to Sundar, the KNPP's first unit is generating 425 MW power and its performance is satisfactory.

He said certain mandatory tests related to steam discharge valves have to be done to increase the reactor power further.

Sundar said during the tests to be done during day time, steam will be released for a short period (3-5 minutes). The ambient noise level is likely to go up marginally during the tests, he added.

--IANS (Posted on 26-12-2013)

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