Reactor monitoring systems tested for India’s Kudankulam nuclear plant units 3, 4

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Key reactor monitoring systems for the under-construction units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in India have been successfully tested, according to the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom.  

Rosatom, which is the equipment supplier and technical consultant for the KNPP, India’s largest nuclear plant, said in a statement earlier this week that the testing was conducted in Russia along with representatives of the Indian operator, the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL). 

Among the systems tested were the In-Core Instrumentation System (ICIS) and System for Integrated Analysis (SIA) for the reactor of unit 3.  

“The ICIS is an important part of the Instrumentation and Control System and the main element ensuring the monitoring of nuclear fuel and reactor safety parameters. The system monitors power density fields, temperature fields, and keeps track of process parameters in different operating modes of the reactor, including abnormal situations,” the statement said.  

‘Equipment within these systems ensures acquisition, analysis and transmission of information on the reactor state to Main Control Room (MCR),” the statement added.  

These reactor subsystems were tested by Rosatom subsidiary Rusatom Automated Control Systems (RASU) together with NPCIL representatives.  

Subsequently, the testing of automated leakage detection subsystems for the KNPP units 3 and 4 was also completed, Rosatom said.  

The Humidity Leak Monitoring System (HLMS) and Acoustic Leak Monitoring System (ALMS) for the primary and secondary circuits serve for detection of leakages from coolant pipelines and main steam pipes to ensure safe operations.  

“All these subsystems are part of the reactor monitoring, control and diagnostic system (MCDS). They ensure monitoring and control of the reactor in different operating modes and have a project-specific design that takes into account technical features of the future power unit and the customer’s requirements,”, RASU’s Head of KNPP I&C Project Office, Dmitry Kukushkin, said in a statement.  

“Following the tests, the equipment will be shipped to the Kudankulam NPP site in Tamil Nadu state, India, before the end of 2023,” the statement said.  

Similar equipment, developed in Russia and installed at the KNPP units 1 and 2 almost 20 years ago, has been operating without any issues, the statement added. 

KNPP units 1 and 2 of 1,000 MW capacity each, started commercial operations in 2014 and 2016, respectively. The construction is underway of four more units at Kudankulam – 3, 4, 5 and 6 – also of 1,000 MW capacity each.