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Mumbai, July 22, 2020
India's first indigenously designed 700 MW Unit-3 of Kakarapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-3) at Kakrapar in Gujarat achieved its first criticality (controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission reaction for the first time) this morning.
"This is a historic development, as KAPP-3 is a first of a kind, indigenous 700 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Rector (PHWR)," a press release from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) said.
The reactor has been indigenously designed by Indian scientists and engineers and the components and equipment for it have been manufactured by Indian industries. The construction and erection of the unit was undertaken by various Indian contractors, it said.
The release said the reactors are designed and constructed to the highest safety and quality standards, comparable to the best in the world.
"The indigenous 700 MW PHWRs have advanced safety features like steel lined inner containment, Passive Decay Heat Removal system, Containment Spray system, Hydrogen Management systems, etc.," it said.
The fuel loading of the reactor core was completed by mid-March 2020. Thereafter manny tests and procedures were carried out during the lockdown period, following all COVID-19 guidelines. "The tasks could be achieved with the excellent coordination and cooperation among NPCIL, contracting agencies, DAE units and various Central, State and local authorities," the release said.
As a next step, various experiments and tests will be conducted and power will be increased progressively. Thereafter, the unit will be connected with the western grid. The unit is the 23rd nuclear power reactor of the country.
KAPP-3 is the front-runner in a series of 16 indigenous 700 MW PHWRs which have been accorded administrative approval and financial sanction by the Government and which are at various stages of implementation.
NPCIL has seven more reactors, KAPP 4 (700 MW), RAPP 7 & 8 (2x700 MW), KKNPP 3 & 4 (2x1000 MW) and GHAVP 1 & 2 (2x700 MW) under construction. These reactors are expected to be completed and achieve criticality progressively from next year, the release added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Indian nuclear scientists for the achievement.
"Congratulations to our nuclear scientists for achieving criticality of Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant-3! This indigenously designed 700 MWe KAPP-3 reactor is a shining example of Make in India. And a trailblazer for many such future achievements!" he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.