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 2 × 1,000 MW
Units planned 2 × 1,000 MW
Nameplate capacity 2,000 MW
Planned generation 7,500 GW·h
Website
Nuclear Power Corporation of India

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (or Koodankulam NPP or KKNPP) is the single largest nuclear power station in India, situated 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 opposition from local fishermen.[2][3] KKNPP is scheduled to have six VVER-1000 reactors built in collaboration with Atomstroyexport, the Russian state company and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), with an installed capacity of 6,000 MW of electricity.[4]

Unit 1 was synchronised with the southern power grid on 22 October 2013 and is generating electricity to its warranted limit of 1000 MW.[5] 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.[6] The second unit attained criticality on 10 July and was synchronised with the electricity grid on 29 August.

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.[7]

The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 & 4 was performed on 17 February 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.[8][9]

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.[4] 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).[10] 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.[4]

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.[4]

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 Thoothukudi, risking damage during transportation.[11] 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 (1.2 GW).[12][13] The new reactors would bring the total capacity of the power plant to 6,800 MW (6.8 GW).

Commissioning of Unit 1[edit]

The first reactor of the plant attained criticality on 13 July 2013 at 11:05 pm.[14]

KKNPP was first synchronised to grid at 2:45 am on 22 October 2013.[15] Power generation from first nuclear reactor started on the same day. Unit 1 was operating at 73% capacity (680 MW) by April 2014.[16] Unit 1 attained its maximum capacity of 1,000 MW of electricity at 1:20 pm on 7 June 2014 and started commercial operation from 31 December 2014.[17] 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 10 July 2016. Unit 2 is the second 1,000 MW unit to go critical in India. It was grid-connected in August.[18] Commercial operation started on 15 October 2016.[19][20]

Construction of Units 3 and 4[edit]

The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 & 4 was performed on 17 February 2016.[21] Construction is expected to begin in early 2017.[22]

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 MW, gross electrical capacity is 1,000 MW with a net capacity of 917 MW.[23] 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.[24] Both units are water-cooled, water-moderated power reactors.[25][26][27][28]

Four more reactors are set to be added to this plant under a memorandum of intent signed in 2008.[29] A firm agreement on setting up two more reactors was postponed.[30]

Operations[edit]

Reactor 1 was to begin supplying power to the Central Grid by end of August 2013.[31]

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.[32]

Opposition[edit]

In 2011, thousands from the vicinity of the plant protested against it, fearing a nuclear disaster.[33] According to the protesters, evacuation of people in the event of a nuclear disaster would be impossible.[34] 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.[35] In December 2012, The Hindu reported that hundreds of villagers in the region were largely ignorant of the risks and benefits of the plant.[36]

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.[37][38] In May 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the plant, stating that the nuclear power plant was in the larger public interest.[39]

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.[40]

There have also been rallies and protests in favour of commissioning this nuclear power plant.[41][42]

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.[43][44]

Supporters of the power plant in Idinthakarai village have been targeted by opponents using improvised explosive devices.[45]

Christian conspiracy[edit]

There are allegations from various agencies throughout India and officials from Home Ministry that several Christian organisations and Christian NGOs are behind the protest against KKNPP.[46][47] The Church of South India, The Catholic Bishops Conference of India.[48] and the National Council of Churches openly oppose the KKNPP.[49] It is also implicitly recognizable that officials in the Catholic Church of these regions too spread rumours through anti-nuclear videos from church premises and through Missionary Schools.[50] The prime motives for opposing the Nuclear Reactor were allegedly multi-faceted. One of the allegations was that the protest was meant to damage the Russian civil nuclear credibility and to make it impossible for Russia to recover costs of construction, and thereby, artificially creating a state of uncertainty for future foreign investments in India.[51]

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".[52]

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.[53] 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.[54]

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.[55]

Allocation of power[edit]

Government of India announced the power allocation from the two units of the reactor on 29 August 2013.[56]

Beneficiary Power (MW)
Tamil Nadu 925 MW
Karnataka 442 MW
Andhra Pradesh 300 MW
Kerala 266 MW
Puducherry 67 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. ^ a b c d "Kudankulam ready for more". Frontline. 11 November 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-22. 
  5. ^ "Wait for Kudankulam power ends; unit 1 linked to grid". Business Line. 2013-10-22. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  6. ^ "Ready to run". Frontline. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  7. ^ B.Sivakumar (25 January 2015). "Kudankulam power to cost 4.29/unit". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "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. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ Nuclear Exports to India from Russia
  11. ^ Kudankulam Port operational
  12. ^ Dmitry Sergeev (1 February 2008). "Russia, India edge closer to major nuclear deal". Reuters. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 
  13. ^ "India, Russia to sign deal on new nuclear reactors". Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008. 
  14. ^ "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. 
  15. ^ Kudankulam nuclear plant begins power generation. Mumbai Mirror (2013-10-22). Retrieved on 2013-12-06.
  16. ^ http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/unit-i-of-kudankulam-to-go-commercial-from-year-end-114040900318_1.html
  17. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kudankulam-reactor-attains-full-capacity/article6092518.ece
  18. ^ http://archive.is/y9s9c
  19. ^ https://ria.ru/atomtec/20161015/1479295038.html
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "Bhoomi pooja performed for Kudankulam 3rd, 4th units". Zee Media Corporation Ltd. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "Construction work for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project 3,4 units to begin soon: Scientist". The Indian Express. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  23. ^ "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. 
  24. ^ NPCIL to go into details with 4 reactor suppliers
  25. ^ Nuclear Power Plant Type
  26. ^ "Koodankulam to start production in 40 days". 
  27. ^ "Kudankulam Atomic Power Project 1 & 2 and". Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2008. 
  28. ^ History of the Kudankulam Project
  29. ^ Four more reactors
  30. ^ Details on the Next Generation Reactors
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ "Kudankulam Nuclear-Plant Restarts Generation". NDTV. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  33. ^ Rahul Bedi (28 October 2011). "Indian activists fear nuclear plant accident". NZ Herald. 
  34. ^ Thirteen Reasons Why We Do Not Want the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project
  35. ^ "Kudankulam one of safest reactors, Lanka's fears unfounded: India's nuclear chief". NDTV. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  36. ^ "At Kudankulam's core is fear, ignorance and anger". 2 December 2012. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  37. ^ Siddharth Srivastava (27 October 2011). "India's Rising Nuclear Safety Concerns". Asia Sentinel. 
  38. ^ Ranjit Devraj (25 October 2011). "Prospects Dim for India's Nuclear Power Expansion as Grassroots Uprising Spreads". Inside Climate News. 
  39. ^ "Kudankulam verdict: for this village, renewed protests or tacit acceptance". NDTV. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  40. ^ "Nearly 200 arrested in India nuclear protest". France24. 20 March 2012. 
  41. ^ "Rally seeks power generation at Kudankulam plant". The Hindu. 16 February 2012. 
  42. ^ "Blood donation camp in support of N-plant". The Hindu. 24 February 2012. 
  43. ^ "5 NGOs diverted foreign funds to fuel Kudankulam stir". hindustantimes. 24 February 2012. 
  44. ^ http://www.firstpost.com/india/kudankulam-protests-3-ngos-lose-licence-for-diverting-funds-224821.html
  45. ^ Sudipto Mondal. "Explosions at village near Kudankulam plant: Reports". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  46. ^ Kudankulam Protests, Church and Western NGOs, Who is Udayakumar?
  47. ^ Kudankulam Protests , Church and Western NGOs, Who is Udayakumar?[dead link]
  48. ^ Probe and Expose the Ploy - Missionary Hand in the Kudankulam Protest
  49. ^ Churches back Kudankulam stir
  50. ^ 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
  51. ^ Rakesh Krishnan Simha. "The Plot Behind Sabotage Kudankulam, Targeting Russia". eSamskriti - The Essence of Indian Culture. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  52. ^ "Kudankulam plant is safe: Srinivasan". The Times of India. 14 November 2011. 
  53. ^ "Kudankulam reactors safest: Central panel". The Hindu. 19 November 2011. 
  54. ^ "R. Chidambaram bats for Kudankulam". The Hindu. 12 March 2012. 
  55. ^ "Kudankulam nuclear power plant issue ends – India – DNA". Dnaindia.com. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-17. 
  56. ^ Press Information Bureau English Releases. Pib.nic.in. Retrieved on 2013-12-06.

External links[edit]