Recently, the third unit of the indigenously developed 700-megawatt electric (MWe) nuclear power reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP3) in Tapi district of Gujarat has commenced operations at full capacity.
The foundation of KAPP-3 happened in November 2010 and this unit was originally expected to be commissioned in 2015.
State-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is responsible for construction and management of the plant.
The reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) had started commercial operations on June 30 but was operating at 90 per cent of its capacity till now.
Before the inauguration of KAPP, the biggest reactor of indigenous design was the 540 MWe PHWR, two of which have been deployed in Tarapur, Maharashtra.
KAPP-3 is the country’s first and the biggest indigenously developed variant of the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).
A PHWR is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel that uses heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and moderator.
PHWR technology was started in India in the late 1960s with the construction of the first 220 MWe reactors, Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS-1).
The new 700MWe unit addresses the excess thermal margins (thermal margin refers to the extent to which the operating temperature of the reactor is below its maximum operating temperature) — and also marks an improvement in the economies-of-scale, without significant design changes to the 540 MWe reactor.
Currently, KAPP3 nuclear power capacity constitutes around 2 per cent of the total installed capacity of 4,17,668 MW.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited:
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is an Indian public sector undertaking, Headquartered at Mumbai.
It is wholly owned by the Government of India and is responsible for the generation of nuclear power for electricity.
NPCIL is administered by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).