After remaining under renovation and modernisation for two years, the Kakrapur Nuclear Power Station’s Unit 2 attained ‘criticality’ in September this year. The 220 MW KAPS-2 had suffered a leakage of heavy coolant water and its maintenance was completed three years ahead of its schedule.
Located in Surat, South of Gujarat KAPS comprises of two units of home grown 220 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors that started operations in 1993 and 1995 respectively. Both the reactors were shut down automatically in March 2016 following the leak of heavy water coolant.
“The Kakrapur Nuclear Power Station Unit 2 Gujarat resumed operations in September 2018, three and a half months ahead of schedule after completion of Renovation and Modernisation works encompassing En Masse Coolant Channel Replacement (EMCCR) and En Masse Feeder Replacement (EMFR) and other safety upgrades,” a Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) compilation of its achievements in the year 2018 read. Attaining criticality means the initiation of self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction in the reactor.
Following the leakage, an emergency was declared at the site as the accident came exactly five years after Fukushima reactors accident in Japan. Fortunately, no worker was exposed and no radiation leaked outside the plant.
Kakrapar is also seeing the construction of two more units of indigenous PHWR units of 700 MW capacity. Referring to the construction of units, the DAE release said: “The construction of PHWRs of 700 MW capacity, coming up at Kakrapar, Gujarat and Rajasthan, are now progressing well, and one reactor is expected to become critical at the end of 2018 and subsequently one reactor every year.”