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India's First Indigenous 700 MWe N-plant: Kakrapar Nuclear Power Plant Gujarat

Utkarsh Classes 02-09-2023
India's First Indigenous 700 MWe N-plant: Kakrapar Nuclear Power Plant Gujarat Science and Technology 6 min read

The first largest indigenous 700 Megawatt electrics Kakrapar Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3 in Gujarat has started operations at full capacity.

The reactor at the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP) had started commercial operations on June 30 but had been operating at 90% of its capacity till now.

Public sector undertaking Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is building two 700 MW pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) at Kakrapar, which is also home to two 220 MW power plants. Various commissioning activities were under way at KAPP 4, which had achieved 97.56% progress by July

NPCIL plans to build 16 700 MW PHWRs across the country and has granted financial and administrative sanctions for the same.

Construction of 700 MW nuclear power plants is going on at Rawatbhata, Rajasthan (RAPS 7 and 8), and at Gorakhpur in Haryana (GHAVP 1 and 2). The government has sanctioned the building of 10 indigenously developed PHWRs in fleet mode at four locations — Gorakhpur in Haryana, Chutka in MP, Mahi Banswara in Rajasthan and Kaiga in Karnataka.

India now has 23 nuclear reactors in operation in eight nuclear power plants, with a total installed capacity of 7,480 MW. Twelver more reactors are under construction at various stages, connected to the grid, totalling to 9,400 MW.

Components of a nuclear reactor

  • Fuel
    • Uranium is the basic fuel. Usually pellets of uranium oxide (UO2) are arranged in tubes to form fuel rods. 
  • Moderator
    • Material in the core which slows down the neutrons released from fission so that they cause more fission. It is usually water, but may be heavy water or graphite.
  • Control rods or blades
    • These are made with neutron-absorbing material such as cadmium, hafnium or boron, and are inserted or withdrawn from the core to control the rate of reaction, or to halt it.
  • Coolant
    • A fluid circulating through the core so as to transfer the heat from it. In light water reactors the water moderator functions also as primary coolant.

Main types of nuclear reactor

Pressurized water reactor (PWR)

This is the most common type, with about 300 operable reactors for power generation and several hundred more employed for naval propulsion. The design of PWRs originated as a submarine power plant. PWRs use ordinary water as both coolant and moderator. 

Boiling water reactor (BWR)

This type of reactor has many similarities to the PWR, except that there is only a single circuit in which the water is at lower pressure (about 75 times atmospheric pressure) so that it boils in the core at about 285°C. The reactor is designed to operate with 12-15% of the water in the top part of the core as steam, and hence with less moderating effect and thus efficiency there.

Pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR)

The PHWR reactor has been developed since the 1950s in Canada as the CANDU, and from the 1980s also in India. PHWRs generally use natural uranium (0.7% U-235) oxide as fuel, hence needs a more efficient moderator, in this case heavy water (D2O).

Plant Name

Location

Type

Tarapur Atomic Power 

BOISAR, MAHARASHTRA

BWR

Rajasthan (RawatBhata) Atomic Power 

KOTA, RAJASTHAN

PHWR

Madras Atomic Power

KALPAKKAM, TAMIL NADU

PHWR

Narora Atomic Power 

NARORA, UTTAR PRADESH

PHWR

Kakrapar Atomic Power 

TAPI, GUJARAT

PHWR

Kaiga Generating Station

KAIGA, KARNATAKA

PHWR

Tarapur Atomic Power Plant

BOISAR, MAHARASHTRA

PHWR

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station

KUDANKULAM, TAMIL NADU

PHWR

Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojna

Gorakhpur, Haryana

PHWR

Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR)

Kalpakkam,Tamil Nadu

FBR

Mahi 

Banswara, Rajasthan 

Proposed 

Chutka

Madhya Pradesh

Proposed 

 

FAQ

Answer. Kakrapar, Gujarat

Answer. Rawatbhata and Mahi

Answer. Narora , Uttar Pradesh
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