Operation of K'kulam power unit suspended

Commercial production of electricity in the first unit of the Rs 17,000-crore Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant was suspended on Wednesday for a maintenance job, after which it is to be connected back to the southern grid.

“The plant has been operating at 234 MW since this (on Wednesday) morning. The electricity generation was suspended as planned for the cleaning of strainers,” Department of Atomic Energy Chairman Ratan Kumar Sinha said in Mumbai at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre's foundation day ceremony.

After a few more tests, planned maintenance activities and step-wise regulatory clearances, the power level will be progressively raised; first to 500 MW and subsequently to 750 MW. Commercial operations of the 1000 MW unit are expected to start in December, 2013, he said.

The first power unit at Kudankulam achieved criticality on July 13 and was connected to the grid on October 23. Operationalisation of the unit, however, was stopped for almost two years due to intense protests from anti-nuclear activists.

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