Kakrapar nuclear reactors to get new coolant channels

Chennai: India’s atomic power plant operator NPCIL on Tuesday said that it will replace the coolant channels in the two power reactors at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat at an outlay of around Rs 500 crore.

“We have decided to replace the coolant channels of both the units. The work is on the project mode,” Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) Chairman and Managing Director S.K. Sharma, told IANS.

On the morning of March 11, 2016 the first reactor at KAPS shut down automatically following leakage of heavy water from its coolant channel. The leak was plugged ten days later.

NPCIL has two 220 MW units at KAPS. Following the heavy water leak, unit 1 is under cold shut down. The second unit is under maintenance shut-down since July 2015.

A subsequent study by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) found unusual corrosion spots were found in the coolant channels in the power reactors.

A 220 MW pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) like the one at KAPS has 306 coolant channels and each channel will have 12 fuel bundles.

“In all 612 coolant channels in both the units will be changed,” V.K.Jain, Station Director, KAPS-1 and 2 units told IANS on Tuesday.

“The entire process would take around two-and-half years. First to go on stream would be the second unit and three or four months later, the first unit would start generating power,” he added.

According to Jain, purchase orders for long delivery items have placed.