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Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project-1 shut down for refuelling

The 1,000 MW first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) was shut down on Thursday for refuelling. During the reactor cool down process the ambient noise level may marginally rise, a top KKNPP official said.

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project-1 shut down for refuelling
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Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project-1 shut down for refuelling

Chennai

The first unit was shut down at 5.53 am for the scheduled refuelling activity to replace used fuel in the reactor with fresh stock. 

The process which includes maintenance tasks as well may take 65 days, he said.During reactor cool down process, as part of the exercise, the “steam relief devices” will also be tested. In the process the “ambient noise level may marginally increase,” Site Director (Additional Charge) SV Jinna said in an official release.

It was one of the planned activities and part of the mandatory tests as per the guidelines. It will be done only during the day, he said. The present refuelling was the second such exercise. The first was done a year ago, the top official said. 

Unit-1, which has produced 14,126 Million Units power since its inception in 2013, is a VVER (Water-Cooled Water-Moderated Reactor) belonging to the Pressurised Water Reactor category. It uses enriched uranium oxide fuel to generate electricity. At the end of the fuel cycle, which approximately lasts 7,000 hours, the used fuel is replaced. Unloading spent fuel from the reactor core and loading it with fresh stock will be done through a fully automated refuelling machine. 

Also, various maintenance activities of the systems and equipment will also be done during the first-unit’s outage phase. All necessary tests will be conducted and all safety systems will be tested as per regulations, the site director said.

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