The first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNP) was shut down in June 2015 for refuelling for the first time after generating about 6,875 million units of electricity, the government today said. Minister of State for Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha also said, “During the first refuelling shutdown, in parallel with refuelling, detailed inspections, surveillance tests, mandatory checks and routine maintenance works were carried out.” Thereafter, the unit was reconnected to the grid in January 2016, he said.
“Apart from the long refuelling shutdown of Unit-1, there have been some instances of unit trips. Each of these instances have been investigated, the root causes determined and necessary measures taken in consultation with the Russian experts and the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). “In none of these instances, the safety of plants was challenged,” Singh said. In reply to another question, the minister said, as per International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), India presently ranks third in number of reactors under construction after China and Russia Federation (based on the placement of first pour of concrete) and seventh in number of reactors in operation.
“Some of the suppliers/contractors of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) had reported financial difficulties, as a result of which there was a delay in supplies of equipment and execution of Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) 3&4 (2×700 MW) and Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP) 7&8 (2×700 MW) projects. “The issue of financial difficulty of vendors and contractors was appropriately addressed by NPCIL,” he said. In reply to another question, Singh said, the government proposes to set up India-based Neutrino Observatory (NO) at Bodi West Hills in Theni district of Tamil Nadu.