Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by Daredevil, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project: Countdown begins

    T.S. SUBRAMANIAN
    Things are on course for the commissioning of Unit-1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in 2010.
    A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

    [​IMG]
    The reactor buildings of Units 1 and 2.

    “WE are now standing on the sea,” declared S. Venkatesh, Senior Commissioning Engineer, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), as we looked around bewildered and found that we were indeed standing on several acres of concrete platform built 500 metres into the sea.

    The wind from the Gulf of Mannar was gusting around us, and below us, a big reservoir of sea water, called breakwater dyke, had been built. Another 700 m into the sea were four caissons, massive concrete structures, that had been placed in specially designed beds at the mouth of the breakwater dyke. The caissons – two of them weighing 2,900 tonnes each and the other two weighing 2,400 tonnes each – have big gates to allow the smooth flow of sea water to cool the condensers in the two reactors of the KKNPP.

    Ahead of us, on the shore, rose the two domed reactor buildings of the KKNPP, each 80 m tall. There is an array of buildings around: the 45-m-tall turbine buildings, the massive pump-houses, the big desalination plant, the demineralisation plant, the building that houses the ready-to-use enriched uranium fuel bundles, and so on. Everything about the KKNPP is gigantic.

    With the project nearing completion, things are on course for the commissioning of the first unit of the KKNPP in the first quarter of 2010. Pre-commissioning activities for starting the first reactor are in full swing and all is set for the loading of the dummy fuel into the reactor in August/September. Then the commissioning activities will begin and the reactor will be made ready for the loading of the real fuel by November/December 2009. S.K. Jain, Chairperson and Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), said, “We are preparing the reactor for the ultimate milestone of the loading of fuel and the start of criticality. We are confident that Unit-1 will start generating power early next year.”

    The KKNPP involves the construction of two Russian VVER-1000-type reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu. Each reactor will generate 1,000 MWe of power. The fuel will be enriched uranium. Light water will be both coolant and moderator. Hence, the occurrence of the word “voda” two times in “VVER”, which in Russian stands for voda, voda, energy reactor. Voda means water. In simple terms, they are called light water reactors (LWRs). Atomstroyexport, the Russian nuclear monopoly, has provided the designs and supplied all the equipment and components for the two reactors. According to Jain, the Russian Federation has given “a binding commitment” for the supply of enriched uranium fuel for the lifetime of the two reactors.

    While the Russian Federation provided the reactors’ design and supplied all the equipment and components, NPCIL executed all the gigantic civil construction and mechanical erection of the two reactors. It will also commission and operate the plant.

    K.C. Purohit, Project Director, KKNPP, stressed how NPCIL had to contend with “a totally new technology” in building these two Russian LWRs. For NPCIL had hitherto built only the indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs), which use natural uranium as fuel and heavy water as both coolant and moderator.

    Purohit said: “We have come to a stage where most of the construction and erection work is over. We have started the pre-commissioning activities and some commissioning work. The challenges involved in the construction, erection and commissioning responsibilities have given us a whole insight into this new technology.”

    He listed the major milestones that the project had crossed in the work on Unit-1. The construction of the dome-shaped reactor building is complete. It is “a dome within a dome”. The inner containment dome has a wall 1.2 m thick and its inside has a steel lining, 6 mm thick. The outer containment dome has a thickness of 60 cm. The domes are to prevent radioactivity from leaking into the atmosphere in the extreme possibility of an accident.

    Work on erecting the passive heat removal system (PHRS) is complete. It is the first time that any reactor in the world will use this system. If no cooling mechanism is available in case of an emergency, the PHRS will allow the air from the atmosphere to enter the reactor building and cool the reactor.

    Other milestones include the erection of huge equipment such as the reactor pressure vessel (RPV), the steam generator, heat exchangers and the core-catcher. The RPV is a huge receptacle that houses the enriched uranium fuel assemblies. It is a 359-tonne contraption made of stainless steel. The vessel itself is kept inside a one-metre-thick concrete vault.

    A.K. Pal, Chief Construction Engineer, KKNPP, said: “The installation of such a heavy mass, with an alignment of one mm accuracy, is a great achievement because it had to be brought inside horizontally, lifted slowly with special tools and tackles so that it did not swing, positioned vertically and kept on a metallic ring. It was so tough doing all this.” Yet another milestone is assembling the fuelling machine, a huge robot. It has been energised too. The fuelling machine will insert the enriched uranium fuel assemblies into the reactor core and also remove the spent fuel assemblies.

    A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN
    [​IMG]
    Inside the reactor building of Unit 1.

    Another civil engineering marvel is the construction of a 19-m-deep pond, which will store the spent fuel assemblies from the reactor. It is made of concrete and lined with steel and carbon steel to prevent water from leaking. The erection of the main coolant piping has been completed for both the units. Pal called it “a pioneering job” because 32 coolant pipe pieces, each weighing about 12 tonnes and with a diameter of 85 cm, had to be welded with precision.

    The turbine building houses the turbine and the generator. The turbine generator is ready to receive steam, which will rotate the turbine and generate electricity.

    A desalination plant with four units has started operation. Each unit will produce 1,06,000 litres of water an hour. The demineralisation (DM) plant, where pure water will be obtained, is nearby. This pure water will be used as primary and secondary coolant in the reactor.

    NPCIL awarded four contracts in the form of mega packages for project construction. Lee & Muirhead Private Limited, Mumbai, was entrusted with the transportation of all equipment from Russia by sea to Kudankulam. Pankaj Gadhia, chief executive officer, Lee & Muirhead, said the company, acquired by the Parikh family in 1945, had come a long way from being a small Custom House clearing agent to a diversified logistics company handling about one million freight tonnes of project cargo every year across India for industries.

    Pankaj Gadhia added, “Over the past 64 years, the company has established new ventures, including joint ventures with global partners such as Deutsche Post and DHL. Today, Lee & Muirhead’s core strength is in handling large industrial projects on a door-to-door basis. NPCIL’s Kudankulam project, which involved 4,00,000 freight tonnes provided a challenge to the group.”

    The company has handled project materials for several power projects. It is also focussing on petroleum and refineries, chemical and steel sectors. NPCIL, while focussing on the construction of the two units, also developed the human resource needed for operating and maintaining the reactors. It chose people who were experienced in the commissioning and operation of the indigenous PHWRs and the two LWRs (built at Tarapur, Maharashtra, by General Electric of the United States). NPCIL top brass developed with their Russian counterparts a blueprint for the training of Indian personnel to commission, operate and maintain the two VVERs.

    A three-phased programme was prepared, with the second part implemented in the Russian Federation.

    “The understanding was that our personnel will be tested and examined by Russian specialists. I am happy to say that all our colleagues did very well in the examinations held in Russia,” said Purohit.

    The programme had already produced about 60 graduate engineers needed for operating and maintaining the two reactors.

    A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN
    [​IMG]
    The desalination plant at Kudankulam has four units, each producing 1,06,000 litres of water an hour.

    M.K. Balaji, Chief Superintendent, KKNPP, who heads the group of engineers who will commission and operate the two reactors, said the team had started the commissioning activities for Unit-1.

    “We initially need power supply from the Tamil Nadu grid and the chilled water system before we go to the next stage of commissioning the reactor,” he said.

    The plant was drawing electricity from the State grid from November 14, 2008. “The desalination plant will meet the water requirements of the plant,” said Balaji, as he proudly held a bottle with water that was collected from the desalination plant on February 21, when it was commissioned.

    “The pre-commissioning activities of the reactor have started,” said Balaji. These activities included filling the pond inside the reactor building.

    After a year of reactor operation, the fuelling machine will remove one-third of the spent fuel assemblies from the reactor core and position them inside the fuel racks in the pond, which is already filled with water.

    “To ensure total safety, we are checking the integrity of the pond so that water does not leak out of it,” he added. Another pre-commissioning activity involves flushing the reactor coolant pipes with water to exclude foreign material. Water will be pumped into various circuits and it will be flushed towards the reactor as part of an open-loop flushing (that is, the reactor will be kept open).

    R.S. Sundar, Technical Services Superintendent, KKNPP, said, “This is a major pre-requisite before we start further commissioning activities of the reactor, such as loading the dummy fuel assemblies and the hot run. We are now in the stage of filling the spent-fuel pond with water and the next operation will be open-loop flushing. An entire group is working on these.” In the hot run, hot water is circulated through the entire circuit so that the systems’ performance is established. A magnetite liner was created on the inside of the pipes made of carbon steel as an anti-corrosion measure.

    Cabling is under way in the state-of-the-art control room for Unit-1, which is akin to an aircraft’s cockpit. M.I. Joy, Additional Chief Engineer (Site Planning), KKNPP, said, “Once the cabling is completed, the entire control of the plant, including the reactor and turbine, will be done from the control room.”

    The plant’s control room is humidity-controlled. “The atmosphere is so pure here that the cables will not be spoiled,” said Joy.

    The dummy fuel has the same weight and dimensions of the real fuel. In all, 163 dummy fuel assemblies will be loaded in September into the reactor core and the core will be brought to the status of hot operation.

    The conditions in which the reactor will operate will be simulated. This will signal the start of the commissioning activities. The reactor control systems will be tested and the real fuel assemblies loaded into the reactor core. The reactor will then reach criticality.

    After criticality, NPCIL personnel will perform low-power physics experiments using the reactor and slowly increase the power output. Finally, electricity generated from the reactor will flow into the grid. •
     
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  3. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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    PM steps to ease TN’s N-plant fear

    PM steps to ease TN’s N-plant fear


    Within hours of being urged by chief minister J Jayalalithaa to halt work on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant till the fears of people were allayed, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday told her he would personally look into the matter. V Narayanasamy, minister of state


    in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), would visit the plant site in Tirunelvelli district, around 650km south of Chennai, to address safety fears of locals.
    Earlier, Jayalalithaa wrote to the PM amid mounting protests against the Indo-Russian project. Barely three months are left for commissioning of the first of the two 1,000 MWe (megawatt electrical) reactors.

    Accusing the Centre of abdicating its responsibility, the AIADMK chief said no union minister or official had come forward to allay the fears of thousands of people who were living in perpetual fear of a nuclear accident like the Fukushima (Japan) disaster.

    Jayalalithaa criticised union minister of state for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan, who reportedly said the subject came under the purview of the Atomic Energy Commission and her ministry had nothing to do with it.

    Her letter to the PM came three days after she sought to allay safety fears over the plant.

    After meeting officials of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, which is building the plant with Russian help, she had said the plant was 7.5 metres above sea level in a zone not prone to earthquakes and safe even from tsunami.



    PM steps to ease TN’s N-plant fear - Hindustan Times
     
  4. SpArK

    SpArK SORCERER Senior Member

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  5. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Stupid people being mislead by vested interests.

    Where were they when the project was being developed all these time and start meddling with barely months left for the commissioning.

    Increase the power cuts from one hour to 5 hours and they will know the importance of this plant.


    I myself read some of the articles in Kumudham and Ananda Vikatan written by self-declared anti-nuclear activists. Full of unadulterated BS I would say. But most of the people reading them are the housewives, labourers who do not understand the scare-mongering in that and take it for granted. The Govt must allay their fears by deputing trained scientists and other students to explain to the people the neccesity of nuke energy to India.
     
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  6. plugwater

    plugwater Elite Member Elite Member

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    SG tried to make aware of safety parameters to the protesting crowd yet it failed which should have been the job of CG.

    CG should conduct some awareness program to make people understand.

    TN is not in the position of halting this project it needs as much as power it can get.
     
  7. Mr.Ryu

    Mr.Ryu Regular Member

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    These people protesting really dont know what's the advantage of the plant or what's the disadvantage if any,

    They are just manipulated by those who are cunning and have hidden agenda and as Karthic told where was they when this plant was started why did DMK allow it when it enjoyed enormous support in center ?

    We in TN need power and this will be a great saver for us, Of course the safety of plant must be fool proof but to say it will blast if a very high EQ occures or Flood comes it's bull shit to live in fear some boogie thing will come.
     
  8. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Unfortunately these people are being mislead by vested interests that include, foreign funded religious groups, anti nuclear NGOs and some opposition parties.

    They think they can achieve everything by going on a fast. Let them fast as long as they can. The state Govt should have put the ball in the Centre's court a few days ago instead of waiting.
    If this project is halted it will have a cascading effect on each and every ongoing and proposed N plants.

    I have seen some opposition run BS news channels training their guns on the state Govt and spreading misinformation.
    It is sad that people can be manipulated so easily, where were all theses concerns for aver a decade when the construction was going on???
     
  9. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    These concerns can't simply be dismissed as obstructionist nor can their misgivings be allayed by token promises to relook into safety measures.In the wake of the Fukushima crisis,the traditional issues concerning nuclear power plants has now transcended the safety and reliability concerns,the world over countries are coming alive to the fact that nuclear power plants can never be secured beyond a certian level of safety,beyond which a hundred percent safe nuclear power plants becomes economically nonviable.

    People realize that a nuclear power plant,safety compliant or not, is a ticking time bomb and they dont want a bomb in their backyard.
     
  10. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well, I dont know how the CM of TN is going to solve the power shortage already that is existing in the state? Seriously this is bullcrap.
     
  11. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Yes this is obstructionist propaganda with active support from western backed religious groups. Those religious bodies that often act on the behest of their bosses in Europe have always been against anything Nuclear about India. Many of the fisherfolk in those coastal regions have been brainwashed by them.

    And as if that is not enough some smaller opposition parties were also stoking the flames.

    For god sake, why are their comparisons with Fukushima? Japan is Earthquake country. Tsunamis originate very close to their coastline unlike the IO tsunami that originated 2500 Kms from India.
    Much of south is not even seismically active.

    TN once again requires the No Nonsense tenure of JJ similar to 2001 to 2006 period. I think that is what is going to happen after the upcoming elections in October.
    Some people will only understand police language.
     
  12. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    The protestors must realise that there are hundreds of staff working in any nuclear facility
    And the residential townships of the Atomic Energy personnel are always in the vicinity of the plant

    So the families of the staff and the staff themselves will always be the first in the line of fire

    Safety is always the paramount concern in Indian Nuclear facilities and after Fukushima Safety has
    become just the ONLY criteria in every nuclear facility

    Nuclear plants , post Fukushima are now obsessed with safety
     
  13. plugwater

    plugwater Elite Member Elite Member

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    Where were they before the construction started ?

    After spending billions SG and CG should not back off.
     
  14. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine

    ‘White man’s technology has hurt the Earth badly’

    SP Udayakumar, Coordinator, PMANE

    People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) coordinator SP Udayakumar has been at the forefront of the agitation against the Koodankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu. A 12-day fast by the locals ended after the state Cabinet passed a resolution requesting the Centre to stop work at the plant. A delegation also met PM Manmohan Singh. The PM remained non-committal, forcing the people to resume their fast. Kunal Majumder speaks to Udayakumar about the reasons for opposing the nuclear plant.
     
  15. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    If this misguided movement succeeds, it will be a shot in the arm for anti nuclear groups all over the country.
    Protestors in other sites will also start fasting until death and slowly denuclearise the country. Even as the Koodankulam protests continue, some morons are already taking about decommissioning Reactors at Kalpakkam.
     
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  16. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://truthdive.com/2011/10/14/pmo-to-open-dialogue-with-church-over-kudankulam.html

    PMO to open dialogue with Church over Kudankulam


    Chennai, Oct 14 (TruthDive): Once again workers numbering 1000 were blocked by protestors from entering Kudankulam nuke plant and only 25 staff members needed to maintain essential services were escorted by police to the plant. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), with the help of Prithviraj Chavan, has opened a channel with the Church that is backing the agitation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  17. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    White man's technology has hurt the Earth? What a freaking moron!!!

    It is Thermal coal fired plants that are hurting the Earth.

    This Udaykumar, the Church backing this "movement", etc. should all have electricity cut off. Their consumption of electricity is hurting the Earth real bad.
     
  18. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Wasn't the Church brought to India by the White Man ? :lol: (I'm not talking about Syrian Christianity)
     
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  19. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    TN is 4000 MW short the last that I heard. Power cuts in chennai and other cities are rampant. Situation is same everywhere. TN should be thankful that thy have a nuke power plant.

    This is as bad as it can get from attracting investment point to view. You are going to scare away potential investors. India was always bad at attracting investors and always dis something to drive them away. No wonder China caught the bus while we are still to reach the Bus Station.
     
  20. trackwhack

    trackwhack Tihar Jail Banned

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    This is really bad news. Jayalalitha's politics can have a bad bearing on India's power sector ambitions.

    I hope the PFBR at Kalpakkam does not get impacted as it is key to India. I cannot stress how important the fast breeder is. If it succeeds, as a nation we can transform the energy landscape and become completely free of fossil fuels in 50 years. It will be the end of the Oil Age for mankind.

    I'm really worried and have my fingers crossed.
     
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  21. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The biggest tsunami in Asia in centuries did not damage the TN nuclear reactor, what is the fear now??
     

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