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What Really Happened At The Kudankulam Power Plant?

Updated: November 15, 2014 10:44 am

On September 26, 2014 during the operation period of the first power generating unit of Kudankulam Nulcear Power Plant (NPP) at 830 MW, the deviation of individual operational parameters of the turbo-alternator was indicated. In a scheduled mode the turbo-alternator was unloaded and turned off the line by local operators. No overriding parameters of the power unit’s standard operation were observed, all operations were implemented in a strict compliance with the systems operational manual.

Deep diagnostics and launch of the unit in December 2014 Currently, works are held to define reasons of separate inclinations of operating figures of the turbo-alternator from the schedule. The power unit in Tamil Nadu will resume operation by this December.

The successful operation of the unit over the last year “Complex Programme of the Low Power Testing of a Power Unit at Kudankulam”—what is it about?

All tests were held in a strict compliance with volumes and procedures indicated in the “Complex Programme of the Low Power Testing of a Power Unit”. This is a typical testing programme developed under general approaches which is implemented on all power units of the Russian project, but takes into account individual features of every reactor facility.

No violation of frames or terms of safe operation was fixed at the stages of the programme’s implementation.

The first power unit has shown safe operation for more than 4700 hours! It has generated over 2825.0423 million kWh of electricity to the power grid of Southern regions in India, in the states Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh.

The planned shutdown of the turbo-alternator is classified as a “zero hazard level” event and it proves the correct operation of the unit.

The shutdown of the unit operation affects in no way the security of the personnel, the environment, population, or the ocean. Furthermore, the turbine generator shutdown is a proof of power plant safety systems’ perfect operation: a slightest trouble in turbine generator operation led to activation of power unit safety systems, which, in turn, led to power unit shutdown.

Russian turbo-alternators installed at Kudankulum NPP have the widest reference in the third countries as well as within Russian borders (in particular, they operate successfully at Kalyninskaya NPP, Rostovskaya NPP and other nuclear plants of Russia). As for foreign NPPs, the power units at Tianwan NPP in China has long been operating with the same turbo-alternators, constantly showing the best technical figures in the country which tells about their high level of reliability. Kudankulam NPP is a unique project for constructed with the help of Russian technologies. The project NPP-92 realised on Kudankulam NPP fully meets requirements of modern technical guidance documents of the Russian Federation, IAEA and is certified for compliance with requirements of the European operators club (EUR) applied to NPPs constructed after 2000.

A distinctive feature of the Russian project is high fitting of power units with diagnostics systems which allow shaping an advance reaction of operation and maintenance staff of the plant for symptoms in inclination of equipment operation instead of events.

The key point of the project is implementation in addition to traditional active security systems of a number of technical solutions based on “passive” principles in addition to “active”. This means that the NPP is secured from the overall probability of severe damage to the core. These properties approximate the current Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project in the sphere of nuclear security to the figures of the Generation IV projects.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project is born in India and for India. The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project is an advanced project; it takes into consideration regional specifics. Thanks to proven technologies, the project takes into consideration the specifics of tropical waters of the ocean, which is characterised by a large number of marine vegetation, mollusks and plants. In particular, the NPP has a fairly wide range of functions including unique fish protection systems.

Kudankulam NPP has a water demineralisation system for Power Plant needs: water comes not from local lakes, but from the sea, and then it goes through all stages of processing.

By Dinara Shikhametova

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