India’s 21st nuclear reactor at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu is functioning well after it began nuclear fission process for the first time last Saturday night, a senior official said Sunday.
“Everything is progressing in a normal manner. The reactor is functioning well as per expectations,” R S Sundar, site director of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), told IANS. “If everything goes well, we will be able to connect the plant to the southern grid in 30-45 days,” he added. The first unit at KKNPP attained criticality at 11.05 p.m. Saturday a week ago. Click on the link below for a video report from India’s leading TV channel
Sundar said sustained nuclear reaction had been achieved and all parameters were as per expectations. “After a long time, the mood here is good,” he said. Top officials of the Indian nuclear establishment, including R K Sinha, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and secretary of the department of atomic energy (DAE), and K.C. Purohit, chairman and managing director of the Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL), were at Koodankulam to see the first of the two Russian-made units attain criticality in a smooth manner.
What this means:
With its largest reactor ever and the first light water plant in over 50 years, India’s nuclear utility can now focus on new plant construction with a track record to show for. It has also learnt a thing or two about dealing with anti-nuclear protests in the post-Fukushima era. New sites in Maharashtra, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh are in advanced stage of planning. And more in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.