Tirunelveli: The 1,000 Mwe first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) that has been successfully in operation for the past 278 days, would be stopped for refueling activity in March this year, according to R S Sundar, site director, KKNPP.
Among the 163 fuel assemblies loaded into the reactor in February 2016, around 54 spent fuel assemblies in the first unit will be removed and replaced with fresh fuel assemblies.
For this refueling exercise, power generation in the first unit would be suspended for a maximum of 60 days, disclosed Mr Sundar, adding, there was nothing to worry about it.
The spent fuel assemblies removed from the reactor would be stored temporarily at the borated water tank having the capacity of 500 fuel assemblies for seven years and will be later shifted to the permanent storage created within the power park premises, said the site director. The department of atomic energy (DAE) has approved the proposal for creating permanent spent fuel storage facility at KKNPP, he added.
The second unit that attained its maximum power factor a few days ago is now undergoing some tests on feed water pumps and the behaviour of the reactor system in dynamic condition in terms of safety aspects is being monitored.
The second unit now producing infirm power has generated 137 crore units since it attained criticality in July last year, he noted. Moreover, allaying public fears over more number of reactors to come up at KKNPP, the power project head at Kudankulam clarified that the atomic power park there will not have more than six reactors as per the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) regulations.
According to the regulations, a distance of 1.6-km between each reactor is mandatory, he said, adding, that the inter-governmental agreement between India and Russia for the fifth and sixth units is expected to be signed soon. The KKNPP site director ruled out the possibility of land acquisition to add more reactors at Kudankulam.