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Friday, July 24, 2015

This Illustration Highlights The Major Systems & Cycles Involved In A Modern Nuclear Power Plant

Any Nuclear Power Plant, being built today, incorporates numerous sub-systems, multiple redundancies & fail-safe features, aimed towards reliably optimising the power generation process, extracting the most from the fuel.

This useful flow chart, below, highlights these aspects that characterise todays' plant.

click on the image to view it in larger size


The Government of India recently sanctioned funds for undertaking the erection of 4 Nuclear power plants. Of these, 2 indigenous 700 MWe PHWR would be erected as part of a greenfield project, coming up in the Gorakhpur village of Haryana - GHAVP. The other 2 would be built within the existing premises of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant [KNPP], already the site for 2 Reactors, of the Russian VVER-1000 PWR design, each capable of generating up to 1000 MWe.

Unit-1 at the KNPP, that was commissioned in 2013, just recently received AERB's 'License for regular operation'. Its Power output being incrementally increased, output reached a peak of 600 MWe up until last month. Following its scheduled 2 month maintenance shutdown, it is planned to crank up the Reactor to its rated 1000 MWe value.

Unit-2, on the other hand, is currently undergoing Commissioning, having successful completed hot run tests of the Nuclear Steam Supply System, along with Integrated Commissioning  tests. The Reactor is expected to attain criticality in the month of October this year.

GHAVP is planned to, eventually, host 4 PHWR of the 700 MWe capacity, while KNPP could be home to 6 VVER-* designs. Interestingly, it was being speculated that subsequent Reactors at KNPP, following Unit-1&2, would be of the more advanced & higher output VVER-1200 design. Such reactors are already being erected in Belarus [1] & Russia [6]. Perhaps, a GoI decision regarding this, for possible Unit 5 & 6, would be taken after learning from the construction & operational experience of the early-adopters.


Also read: Nuclear Fusion Power Plants To Meet India's Electricity Requirements