Kudankulam reactor running smoothly

Kudankulam reactor running smoothly

The first nuclear reactor of the country’s 21st nuclear power plant in Kudankulam, built for Rs 17,000 crore, which attained criticality on Saturday night, is functioning smoothly on Sunday and all the parametres are normal, said a top official.

“At 2305 hrs (on Saturday night), the first nuclear reactor attained criticality (also known as atomic chain reaction), and all the parameters are normal. Sustained nuclear chain reaction has been achieved. Everything is normal,” said R S Sundar, site director of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP).

Overcoming a series of protests and legal hurdles that delayed the commissioning of the plant, the 1,000-MW pressurised water reactor finally attained criticality, prompting the nuclear establishment to rejoice the “red letter day”. The boron dilution process, witnessed by the top guns of Indian and Russian nuclear establishments, signalled the end of an agonising wait for scientists who could finally heave a sigh of relief as much as the people of the state affected by a near 4,000-MW demand-supply gap.

“Great achievement... it is a historic moment every Indian (has) to be proud of... a red-letter day indeed,” said J Daniel Chellappa, senior scientist at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and Technical Coordinator, Central Expert Group on KNPP.

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