Kudankulam n-plant restarts power generation

Chennai: Power generation at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) has restarted after the first unit's reactor and turbine tripped Jan 14, said Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POSCO) Monday.

According to POSCO, power generation at the first unit of 1,000 MW KNPP commenced Sunday.

The atomic power unit touched a peak generation of 658 MW since it was restarted Sunday and the average generation for the day was 168 MW, POSCO said.

India's atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km from Chennai.

The first unit attained criticality, which is the beginning of the fission process, July 2013.

Subsequently it was connected to the southern grid in Oct 2013.

However, commercial power generation began only Dec 31, 2014. Since then the unit was generating an average of 940 MW till it tripped Jan 14.

According to G.Sundarrajan, an anti-nuclear power activist and who had filed a case against the setting up of the Rs.17,000 crore KNPP, the atomic power company suffers at least Rs.8 crore loss per day of plant outage.

"Ever since the first unit at KNPP started commercial generation Dec 31, 2014 it has been producing around 940 MW per day or around 2.25 crore units per day," Sundarrajan told IANS.

He said the actual per unit commercial tariff for the first unit is still unclear with different officials giving out different figures, ranging from Rs.3.50 per unit to Rs.4 per unit.

"Even at Rs.3.50 per unit, NPCIL is suffering a revenue loss of around Rs.7.89 crore per day of plant outage," he said.

Though, KNPP's first unit has started commercial power generation, NPCIL curiously still classifies the unit as under construction in its website and not under the head 'plants under operation'.

The NPCIL officials were not available despite repeated attempts by IANS to get clarifications on the recurring technical snags suffered by the unit.

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