Atomic power station reactors to generate 340 MW


Chennai: One of the two atomic reactors at the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) at Kalpakkam, belonging to the Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd, will start feeding power to the grid Wednesday night, said an official.

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“The first unit will start generating power between 10-11 p.m. tonight (Wednesday). Initially around 110 MW will be generated and in five hours time the generation would go up to around 140 MW,” K. Ramamurthy, station director, MAPS, told IANS over phone from Kalpakkam Wednesday.

Kalpakkam is located around 70 km from here.

According to him, by Friday or Saturday power generation would go up to 180 MW.

“The second unit will start operating Friday and would generate around 130 MW. By Saturday around 340 MW (Unit I 180 MW, Unit II 160 MW) will be generated by MAPS,” Ramamurthy said.

The two reactors at MAPS shut down automatically early Sunday after a critical component (breaker) in the 230 KV switchyard tripped resulting in power supply failure to the reactors.

As a result the reactor’s automatic shutdown process was triggered. Both reactors shut down their operations.

According to Ramamurthy, four standby diesel generators got into operation immediately when the main power supply failed.

He said that the breaker that failed is one of the old ones, all of which MAPS is replacing.

“We have 11 such breakers. Each component costs about Rs.20 lakh,” Ramamurthy said.

“The automatic safe shut down of the two reactors proves the safety measures of the Indian reactors,” he said.

MAPS has two reactors of 220 MW each, but they have been functioning below their rated capacity owing to paucity of fuel.

“The fuel supply situation is improving. By the end of this year we expect the power generation to touch full capacity at both the units,” Ramamurthy added.