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

After several years of delay, the first 1,000 MW Russian-made reactor at KNPP and India's 21st reactor began its nuclear fission process July 13. The 1,000 MW first unit is expected to be synchronized with the grid in 15-days time, officials said.

A senior official of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) said: "The performance of some parts can be checked only when the power generation is increased to certain levels. While we have issued clearance for the first unit to generate 50 percent power tests have to be done simultaneously and corrective action are taken."

He said the systems will be checked while increasing the power levels."Till the unit gets stabilized at a certain level, power generation will be increased and decreased," he said.

"Two valves inside the condenser in the first unit seem to have got stuck and they were later set right. NPCIL officials had to go to the root cause of the problem so that it does not occur again which in turn has taken time," a source said.

The NPCIL started its work at the KNPP's first unit, soon after receiving AERB's clearance, so as to connect the unit to the grid when it generates 400 MW power. KNPP site director RS Sundar earlier said that the first unit would be connected to the grid by the end of August, generating 500 MW. But that did not happen perhaps due to the condenser valve problem.

After necessary regulatory clearances, power generation will be increased gradually to 50 percent, 75 percent, 90 percent and finally 100 percent. NPCIL officials were not available for comment on the valve problem and the delay in connecting the first unit of KNPP to the grid.


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