NPCIL is operating 2 x 1,000 MWe VVER reactors with Russian assistance. Experts reach KKNPP site to inspect ‘unusual vibrations’

A seven-member Russian technocrat team reached the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) site on Wednesday to inspect the ‘unusual vibrations’ in the generator section of the second reactor that has temporarily hampered the operation of the reactor at its maximum power generation capacity of 1,000 MWe.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is operating 2 x 1,000 MWe VVER reactors at Kudankulam with Russian assistance. The first reactor has been generating power since July 2013 even as the construction of the third and fourth reactors is under way at a cost of ₹39,747 crore.

Excavation work for the construction of the fifth and sixth reactors is progressing ahead of schedule and the ‘first pouring of concrete’ for these last two reactors, to be built on an outlay of ₹50,000 crore, is likely to happen any time as decided by the NPCIL, the project proponent.

While the first reactor that attained criticality in July 2013 is generating 1,000 MWe power, the quantum of power being supplied by the second reactor cannot be elevated to its maximum capacity — though this reactor too generated in the past 1,000 MWe electricity — owing to “some unusual vibrations” noticed in the generator section.

To address these technical glitches, the KKNPP sought the help of the Russians tasked with creating the nuclear park at Kudankulam with six reactors for the NPCIL.

After arriving in Ahmadabad, the Russian team landed in Madurai on Wednesday on a chartered flight and reached the KKNPP site by road in the afternoon.

‘Rectify Problems’

Highly placed sources in the KKNPP told The Hindu that the Russian team would take stock and rectify problems as agreed upon in the Inter-Governmental Agreement signed between India and Russia while finalising the nuclear deal.

The team is expected to leave for Russia on June 2, the sources added.