Kudankulam-1 trips on launch but NPCIL says linked to grid

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Kudankulam-Nuclear-Power-PlEarly on Tuesday morning, the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP-1) was synchronised with the southern grid, but it did not hold for long and tripped.

Official sources said that after being “test synchronised” at 2.45 am, the first 1,000 MWe unit tripped at around 4.34 am. The maximum generation achieved was around 160 Mwe.

The grid control room said the unit is not likely to come back on before Wednesday night. NPCIL, however, claimed otherwise.

The first unit “is synchronised to the grid on 22.10.2013 at 0245 hours and generating 160 Mwe”, it said in a statement Tuesday evening.

“The power will be further raised to 500 MWe, 750 MWe and 1,000 MWe in stages. At every stage, various tests are conducted and the technical parameters are verified. Based on the results of the tests at each of the stages and with AERB clearances, subsequent stages are reached,” it said.

NPCIL said that with the addition of KKNPP-1, the country’s nuclear power share had gone up to 5,780 MWe from 4,780 MWe. It is the twentieth NPCIL station connected to the grid, it added.

The synchronisation of the project coincides with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Russia and marks a major milestone in nuclear collaboration between India and Russia.

The second unit is due to be commissioned before the middle of 2014.

NPCIL started the criticality process of the first unit on July 11 after obtaining the AERB’s approval and following the Supreme Court’s direction and the unit achieved criticality on July 13. NPCIL was since engaged in physics experiments and testing.

The start-up and adjustment operations were resumed on March 20, 2012 after they were terminated in October 2011 when protesters barred plant workers from the site.