Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

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Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
Kudankulam NPP.jpg
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is located in India
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
Location of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in India
Country India
Coordinates 8°10′08″N 77°42′45″E / 8.16889°N 77.71250°E / 8.16889; 77.71250Coordinates: 8°10′08″N 77°42′45″E / 8.16889°N 77.71250°E / 8.16889; 77.71250
Construction began 31 March 2002 (2002-03-31)
Commission date 22 October 2013 (2013-10-22)
Construction cost 17,270 crore (US$2.57 billion), units 1 & 2
39,747 crore (US$5.91 billion), units 3 & 4
Owner(s) Nuclear Power Corporation of India
Nuclear power station
Reactor type VVER
Cooling source Laccadive Sea
Cooling towers no
Power generation
Units operational 1 × 1,000 MW
Units under const. 1 × 1,000 MW
Units planned 2 × 1,000 MW
Nameplate capacity 1,000 MW
Planned generation 7,500 GW·h
Website
Nuclear Power Corporation of India

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (or Koodankulam NPP or KKNPP) is a nuclear power station in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Construction on the plant began on 31 March 2002,[1] but faced several delays due to the fishermen's objection.[2][3]

Unit 1 was synchronised with the southern power grid on 22 October 2013.[4] The original cost of the two units was 13,171 crore, but it was later revised to 17,270 crore ($2.6 billion). Russia advanced a credit of 6,416 crore ($0.97 billion) to both the units.[5]

In 2015, Nuclear Power Corporation Ltd (NPCIL) announced a price of 4.29/kW·h (6.4 ¢/kW·h) for energy delivered from Kudankulam nuclear power plant.[6]

The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 & 4 was performed on 17 February 2016. Work is expected to begin in April 2016. Due to operators and suppliers requirement to insure the two following units, at 39,747 crore (US$5.91 billion), the cost of units 3 & 4 is twice the cost of units 1 & 2, .[7][8]

History[edit]

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in 2014

Background[edit]

An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on the project was signed on 20 November 1988 by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev, for the construction of two reactors. The project remained in limbo for a decade due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.[5] There were also objections from the United States, on the grounds that the agreement did not meet the 1992 terms of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).[9] M R Srinivasan, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman from 1987 to 1990, called the project "a non-starter". However, the project was revived on 21 June 1998.[5]

Construction[edit]

Construction began on 31 March 2002, with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) predicting that the first unit would be operational in March 2007, instead of the original target of December 2007.[5]

A small port became operational in Kudankulam on 14 January 2004. This port was established to receive barges carrying over-sized light water reactor equipment from ships anchored at a distance of 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi). Until 2004, materials had to be brought in via road from the port of Thoothududi, risking damage during transportation.[10] In 2008, negotiations on building four additional reactors at the site began. Though the capacity of these reactors has not been declared, it was expected that the capacity of each reactor will be 1,200 MW or 1.2 GW.[11][12] The new reactors would bring the total capacity of the power plant to 6,800 MW or 6.8 GW.

Commissioning of Unit 1[edit]

The first reactor of the plant attained criticality on 13 July 2013 at 11:05 pm.[13]

KKNPP was first synchronised to grid at 2:45 am on 22 October 2013.[14] Power generation from first nuclear reactor started on the same day. Unit 1 was operating at 73% capacity (680 MW) by April 2014.[15] Unit 1 attained its maximum capacity of 1,000 MWe at 1:20 pm on 7 June 2014 and started commercial operation from 31 December 2014.[16] Till April 2015, KNPP-1 generated 2,783 GW·h of electricity at 97% capacity factor.

Commissioning of Unit 2[edit]

Unit 2 achieved first criticality on July 10, 2016. Unit 2 is the second 1,000 MW unit to go critical in India. Commercial operation is planned beginning 2017. [17]

Construction of Units 3 and 4[edit]

The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 & 4 was performed on 17 February 2016. Work is expected to begin in April 2016.[18]

Design and specification[edit]

The reactors are pressurised water reactor of russian design, model VVER-1000/V-412 referred also as AES-92. Thermal capacity is 3,000 MWt and gross electrical capacity is 1,000 MWe. Net capacity is 917 MWe.[19] Construction is by NPCIL and Atomstroyexport. When completed the plant will become the largest nuclear power generation complex in India producing a cumulative 2 GW of electric power.[20] Both units are water-cooled, water-moderated power reactors.[21][22][23][24]

Four more reactors are set to be added to this plant under a memorandum of intent signed in 2008.[25] A firm agreement on setting up two more reactors was postponed.[26]

Operations[edit]

Reactor 1 was to begin supplying power to the Central Grid by end of August 2013.[27]

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) board members have approved signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) for sourcing electricity from the Kudankulam nuclear power project (KKNPP).

Unit 1 was shut down in June 2015 for refuelling and annual maintenance. On 21 January 2016 the reactor restarted and was connected to grid on 30 January 2016.[28] Only three weeks later, unit 1 was stopped due to a leakage in a steam pipe.[29]

Opposition[edit]

In 2011, thousands from the vicinity of the plant protested against it, fearing a nuclear disaster.[30] According to the protesters, evacuation of people in the event of a nuclear disaster would be impossible.[31] According to S P Udayakumar, of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, "the nuclear plant is unsafe". However, in 2012, the chief of India's nuclear energy programme, Dr Srikumar Banerjee, called the plant "one of the safest" in the world.[32] In December 2012, The Hindu reported that hundreds of villagers in the region were largely ignorant of the risks and benefits of the plant.[33]

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in 2011 with the Supreme Court asking for nuclear power development to be delayed until safety concerns were independently assessed.[34][35] In May 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the plant, stating that the nuclear power plant was in the larger public interest.[36]

In March 2012, nearly 200 anti-nuclear protesters were detained for a few hours by the police. The protesters were set to join protests objecting resumption of work of one of two 1 GW reactors, a day after the local government restarted work on the project.[37]

There have also been rallies and protests in favour of commissioning this nuclear power plant.[38][39]

On, 24 February 2012, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed foreign NGOs for protests at the power plant. News agencies reported that three NGOs had diverted donations earmarked for religious and social causes to the protests, in violation of foreign exchange regulations.[40][41]

Supporters of the power plant in Idinthakarai village have been targeted by opponents using improvised explosive devices.[42]

Role of Christian organisations[edit]

In March 2012, officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs investigated two Christian organisations for supporting the protest against the KKNPP.[43][44] The Church of South India, The Catholic Bishops Conference of India[45] and the National Council of Churches openly oppose the KKNPP.[46] Videos showing the deformities caused by nuclear accidents were shown at a church in Idinthakarai.[47] Union Minister of State V. Narayanasamy said that three non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had their permission to foreign funding revoked by the government for supporting the protests. The role of Church has also come under the scrutiny. The pro-government calls the movement “Church-orchestrated” and foreign funded.[48]

Response from officials[edit]

Former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India Srinivasan said, "The Fukushima plant was built on a beach-front, but the Kudankulam was constructed on a solid terrain and that too keeping all the safety aspects in mind. Also, we are not in a tsunami prone area. The plants in Kudankulam have a double containment system which can withstand high pressure. At least 14,000 crore has been spent. If we don't operate the plant immediately, it will affect the economic stability of our country".[49]

A centre panel constituted by the Government of India, which did a survey of the safety features in the plant, vouched for the safety of the Kudankulam reactors. Dr Muthunayagam, who headed the panel, said that the protesters asked for some documents which are not related to the safety of the reactor.[50] Nuclear scientist and principal scientific adviser to the federal Government of India Rajagopala Chidambaram has said "We have learnt lessons from the Fukushima nuclear accident, particularly on the post-shut-down cooling system", and also added Fukushima nuclear accident should not deter or inhibit India from pursuing a safe civil nuclear programme.[51]

The Tamil Nadu state government formed a four-member expert panel which submitted a report to the government after inspecting the safety features of the plant. The Tamil Nadu government in the wake of the acute power shortages in the state has ordered in favour of the commissioning of the plant.[52]

Allocation of power[edit]

Government of India announced the power allocation from the two units of the reactor on 29 August 2013.[53]

Beneficiary Power (MW)
Tamil Nadu 925 MW
Karnataka 442 MW
Kerala 266 MW
Puducherry 67 MW
Not allocated 300 MW
Total 2,000 MW

Tamil Nadu may get another 100 MW over its allocation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PRIS - KUDANKULAM-1 - Reactor Details". Iaea.org. 2002-03-31. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  2. ^ "Commercial operation of Kudankulam plant delayed further". Business Standard. 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 
  3. ^ "The professor and the politics in anti-nuclear crucible". 
  4. ^ Wait for Kudankulam power ends; unit 1 linked to grid | Business Line. Thehindubusinessline.com (2013-10-22). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  5. ^ a b c d "Ready to run". Frontline. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  6. ^ B.Sivakumar (25 January 2015). "Kudankulam power to cost 4.29/unit". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant: Cost of units 3,4 surpasses Rs 39,000 crore". articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com. The Economic Times. 3 December 2014. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "Kudankulam units 3, 4 cost more than doubles over liability issues". www.thehindu.com. The Hindu. 3 December 2014. Archived from the original on 3 December 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Nuclear Exports to India from Russia
  10. ^ Kudankulam Port operational
  11. ^ Dmitry Sergeev (1 February 2008). "Russia, India edge closer to major nuclear deal". Reuters. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 
  12. ^ "India, Russia to sign deal on new nuclear reactors". Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 
  13. ^ "Kudankulam nuclear plant goes critical". The Times of India. 2013-07-14. Retrieved 2013-07-14.  "Birds started nesting in area surrounding NPP of Kudankulam". India Info Online. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Kudankulam nuclear plant begins power generation. Mumbai Mirror (2013-10-22). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  15. ^ http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/unit-i-of-kudankulam-to-go-commercial-from-year-end-114040900318_1.html
  16. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kudankulam-reactor-attains-full-capacity/article6092518.ece
  17. ^ "Second unit of Kudankulam nuclear plant starts fission". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Times Internet. 10 July 2016. Archived from the original on 10 July 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  18. ^ "Bhoomi pooja performed for Kudankulam 3rd, 4th units". Zee Media Corporation Ltd. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  19. ^ "The VVER today – Evolution – Design – Safety" (PDF). www.rosatom.ru (PDF). Rosatom. 2014. pp. 11–12. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 July 2016. Retrieved 21 July 2016. 
  20. ^ NPCIL to go into details with 4 reactor suppliers
  21. ^ Nuclear Power Plant Type
  22. ^ "Koodankulam to start production in 40 days". 
  23. ^ "Kudankulam Atomic Power Project 1 & 2 and". Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2008. 
  24. ^ History of the Kudankulam Project
  25. ^ Four more reactors
  26. ^ Details on the Next Generation Reactors
  27. ^ Tamil Nadu to get additional 100MW of power from Kudankulam nuclear power plant - Times Of India. Timesofindia.indiatimes.com (2013-08-08). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  28. ^ "Kudankulam Nuclear-Plant Restarts Generation". NDTV. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  29. ^ "Another technical snag in Kudankulam, power generation stopped". www.thenewsminute.com. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  30. ^ Rahul Bedi (28 October 2011). "Indian activists fear nuclear plant accident". NZ Herald. 
  31. ^ Thirteen Reasons Why We Do Not Want the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project
  32. ^ "Kudankulam one of safest reactors, Lanka's fears unfounded: India's nuclear chief". NDTV. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  33. ^ "At Kudankulam's core is fear, ignorance and anger". 2 December 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  34. ^ Siddharth Srivastava (27 October 2011). "India's Rising Nuclear Safety Concerns". Asia Sentinel. 
  35. ^ Ranjit Devraj (25 October 2011). "Prospects Dim for India's Nuclear Power Expansion as Grassroots Uprising Spreads". Inside Climate News. 
  36. ^ "Kudankulam verdict: for this village, renewed protests or tacit acceptance". NDTV. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  37. ^ "Nearly 200 arrested in India nuclear protest". France24. 20 March 2012. 
  38. ^ "Rally seeks power generation at Kudankulam plant". The Hindu. 16 February 2012. 
  39. ^ "Blood donation camp in support of N-plant". The Hindu. 24 February 2012. 
  40. ^ "5 NGOs diverted foreign funds to fuel Kudankulam stir". hindustantimes. 24 February 2012. 
  41. ^ http://www.firstpost.com/india/kudankulam-protests-3-ngos-lose-licence-for-diverting-funds-224821.html
  42. ^ Sudipto Mondal. "Explosions at village near Kudankulam plant: Reports". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  43. ^ Kudankulam Protests, Church and Western NGOs, Who is Udayakumar?
  44. ^ Kudankulam Protests , Church and Western NGOs, Who is Udayakumar? Archived 17 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  45. ^ Probe and Expose the Ploy - Missionary Hand in the Kudankulam Protest
  46. ^ Churches back Kudankulam stir
  47. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/at-kudankulams-core-is-fear-ignorance-and-anger/article4154421.ece At Kudankulam’s core is fear, ignorance and anger
  48. ^ Kudankulam Protests, Church and Western NGOs, Who is Udayakumar?
  49. ^ "Kudankulam plant is safe: Srinivasan". The Times of India. 14 November 2011. 
  50. ^ "Kudankulam reactors safest: Central panel". The Hindu. 19 November 2011. 
  51. ^ "R. Chidambaram bats for Kudankulam". The Hindu. 12 March 2012. 
  52. ^ "Kudankulam nuclear power plant issue ends - India - DNA". Dnaindia.com. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  53. ^ Press Information Bureau English Releases. Pib.nic.in. Retrieved on 2013-12-06.

External links[edit]