Natl Record: Kaiga unit I runs for 766 days unceasingly

Natl Record: Kaiga unit I runs for 766 days unceasingly

The Kaiga power plant in Uttara Kannada district. DH file photo

Unit I of the Kaiga nuclear power plant in Uttara Kannada district set a new record in India by generating power continuously for 766 days. The unit ranks fourth in the world for continuous commercial electricity generation from a nuclear power plant.

The Kaiga nuclear power plant currently has four units that generate nearly 880 mega watts (MW) of electricity
per day, out of which 33% is utilised by Karnataka.
Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Puducherry are the other states and union territory that receive the remaining power through the national grid.

The Unit I of Kaiga has overtaken Unit V of the Rajasthan atomic power station located at Rawatbhata, which operated for 765 continuous days. Currently, the Kaiga unit is ranked behind Heysham of United Kingdom (940 days), Pickering (Ontario in Canada, 894 days) and Torness of Scotland (825 days).

Speaking to DH, Kaiga site director Sanjay Kumar said the first unit now had a chance of being ranked either second or third in the world list.

“As per the atomic regulator of India, each of the nuclear power generating units can function for two years. With the present good conditions, the regulator can give permission to run the unit for four more months after inspecting the critical components of the generating station,” he said and added they were hopeful of running this unit continuously till the end of July (for nearly 850 days).

“Without violating any rules, we can continue operating unit I till July 18, 2018,” he said. The unit I started functioning on May 13, 2016 and is the only functioning unit in the top league.

Sources in the power station said it was difficult for the unit to claim top position as rules and regulations governing nuclear power generation in India do not permit the officials to run it for so many days.

The second unit at Kaiga has been generating power for the last 464 days, third unit is functioning for the last 467 days, while the fourth unit functioned for 550 continuous days till December 2017, before it was shut down as part of the biennial shutdown procedure. The fourth unit restarted power generation in January 2018.