First Unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Synchronised with Southern Power Grid

Oct 22, 2013 15:40 IST

The first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) was on 22 October 2013 synchronised with the southern regional electricity grid.  Earlier, the nuclear reactor achieved criticality on 13 July 2013.

The power generation in the nuclear reactor will be increased in stages to attain full capacity of 1000 MW by end of 2014. As the nuclear plant is synchronized to the southern grid, the power generation will now be increased to 500 MW, 750 MW, 900 MW and then finally 1000 MW.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India is constructing two 1000 MW units at KNPP jointly with Russia at Kudankulam in Tiruneveli district, 650 km from Chennai. The Kudankulam nuclear power plant which was to be commissioned on December 2007 got inordinately delayed because of protests by locals.

Kudankulam is the first pressurized water reactor belonging to light water reactor category in the country.

About KKNPP

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is an Indo‐Russian joint venture for establishig a nuclear power station with 2 units (KKNPP‐1&2) of 1000 MWe Pressurized Water Reactors of VVER design at Kudankulam in Tamilnadu.

Synchronization in power plants

When two power supplies are to be connected to a common distribution, voltages, frequencies and phase angles of both power plants should be adjusted to equal values (or grid values). Synchronization supports the generation and transfer the electricity.

Criticality in Nuclear power plants

Criticality is the term refers to the balance of neutrons in the nuclear system. In a nuclear reactor, the neutron number at any instant is a function of the rate of neutron production (due to fission processes) and the rate of neutron losses (via non-fission absorption mechanisms and leakage from the system). When a reactor’s neutron population remains steady from one generation to the next (creating as many new neutrons as are lost), the fission chain reaction is self-sustaining and the reactor's condition is referred to as critical.

When the reactor’s neutron production exceeds losses, characterized by increasing power level, it is considered supercritical, and when losses occur, it is considered subcritical and shows decreasing power.

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