Madras Atomic Power Station

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Madras Atomic Power station
சென்னை அணுமின் நிலையம்
Madras Atomic Power Station is located in India
Madras Atomic Power Station
Location of Madras Atomic Power station
சென்னை அணுமின் நிலையம் in India
Country India
Coordinates 12°33′27″N 80°10′30″E / 12.55750°N 80.17500°E / 12.55750; 80.17500Coordinates: 12°33′27″N 80°10′30″E / 12.55750°N 80.17500°E / 12.55750; 80.17500
Construction began 1970
Commission date 24 January 1984
Operator(s) Nuclear Power Corporation of India LTD.
Power generation
Units operational 2 × 235 MW
Units under const. 1 × 500 MW
Average generation 2,311 GWh
Nuclear Power Corporation of India

Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) (Tamil:சென்னை அணுமின் நிலையம்) located at Kalpakkam about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of Chennai, India, is a comprehensive nuclear power production, fuel reprocessing, and waste treatment facility that includes plutonium fuel fabrication for fast breeder reactors (FBRs). It is also India's first fully indigenously constructed nuclear power station. It has two units of 220 MWe capacity each. The first and second units of the station went critical in 1983 and 1985 respectively. The station has reactors housed in a reactor building with double shell containment ensuring total protection even in the remotest possibility of loss-of-coolant accident. An Interim Storage Facility (ISF) is also located in Kalpakkam.
Currently the Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR), a 500 MWe fast breeder nuclear reactor, has been constructed at the location, and is expected to reach criticality in January 2017.


During its construction, a total of 3.8 lakh (380,000) railway sleeper (logs) were brought from all over India to lift the 180 t critical equipment in the first unit, due to lack of proper infrastructure and handling equipment.[1]


The facility houses two indigenously built Pressurised Heavy-Water Reactors (PHWRs) called MAPS-1 and MAPS-2. MAPS-1 was completed in 1981, but start-up was delayed due to a shortage of heavy-water. After procuring the necessary heavy-water, the MAPS-1 went critical in 1983 and began operating at full power on 27 January 1984. MAPS-2 obtained criticality in 1985 and began full power operations on 21 March 1986.[2] The two Pressurised Heavy-Water Reactors (PHWR) are capable of generating 170 MWe each which is lower than the designed power of 235 MWe since some Zircaloy pieces from the cracked cooling system were found in a moderator pump.[3]

A beachhead at Kalpakkam also hosts India's first indigenous Pressurised (light) water reactor (PWR). The 80 MW reactor was developed by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) as the land-based prototype of the nuclear power unit for India's nuclear submarines.[4] This unit does not come under MAPS.

The Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor is expected to begin operation in 2015.

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