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Kaiga reactor breaks operating record

Nuke plant goes on without break


Nuke plant goes on without break


Kaiga plant. Souce: WNA.

India-designed Unit 1 of Kaiga nuclear power plant has won appreciation from the World Nuclear Association (WNA) for its continuous operation over three years.

It has completed its 895th day of continuous operation, a new world record for continuous operation of a pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) and the second-longest for a nuclear power reactor of any type, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said on 25 Oct 2018.

The 220 MWe Indian-designed and domestically fuelled reactor has now operated without a break since 13 May 2016.

The Kaiga unit operations continues, observed the WNA, acknowledging Indian indigenous capabilities in managing and operating nuclear plants.

The previous operating record for a PHWR of 894 days was set in October 1994 by the Pickering 7 reactor in Canada, according to WNA.

The current world record for continuous operation for a commercial nuclear power reactor of any type is held by unit 2 of the UK’s Heysham II plant, an advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) which had completed an unbroken 940 days in service when it was taken offline for a scheduled maintenance outage in September 2016.

PHWRs and AGRs are designed to be refuelled without being shut down first, and Indian reactors have achieved operating runs of over a year 28 times, NPCIL said.

Kaiga 1 is one of three Indian reactors to have operated continuously for more than two years, alongside Rajasthan unit 3, with 777 days of continuous operation, and Rajasthan 5, with 765 days.

Kaiga is situated near Kali in Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka.

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