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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Southern grid gets first flow from Kudankulam.... Happy moment for the Nation

From idyllic settings to boiling cauldron to serving the Nation – Kudankulam has seen it all…….    Half a century ago, this place lying in Tirunelveli district was an obscure place, not known to the rest of India.  It gained prominence after the Nuclear Power station - Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP)  coming up over there.  A Plant of such strategic importance and magnitude did not spring up overnight.    It was signed by the then PM Rajiv Gandhi  and  Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev   on  November 20, 1988  after being conceived in mid 1980s.

In July 2013,  came the good news of  the country’s first 1,000 MW pressurised water reactor at Kundankulam in Tamil Nadu attaining criticality.  Now more happy news with the news of the first 1,000-MWe unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, now but one stage away from commission, and  on Tuesday it getting synchronised with the southern regional grid. Initially, at 2.45 a.m., the first reactor generated 75MWe and gradually notched up 160 MWe. Subsequently, it was successfully transmitted to the southern grid at Abhishekapatti on the outskirts of Tirunelveli after the KKNNP project authorities got the ‘connecting password’ from Bangalore.  The Hindu reports that the process was halted at 5.15 a.m. so engineers could study the behaviour of the reactor’s ‘integrated systems’, the turbine and the generator — a routine procedure.

“The power will be further raised to 500 MWe, 750 MWe and 1,000 MWe in stages. At every stage, various tests are conducted and the technical parameters verified. Based on the results of the tests at each stage and with AERB [Atomic Energy Regulatory Board] clearances, subsequent stages are reached,” said a press release issued by Site Director, KKNPP, R.S. Sundar. “Though the reactor will continue to generate steam, the turbine will not be allowed to function as it has been stopped [to enable engineers] to study its performance during and after synchronisation. The functioning of the valves and the pipelines connected to the turbine is being evaluated. Moreover, the functioning of the generator is also being reviewed. All these tests and readings are being submitted to the AERB online and clearances being obtained then and there. So far, every part of the reactor, turbine and generator has performed extremely well. We are very much satisfied,” Mr. Sundar told The Hindu.

KKNPP sources said the southern grid would get 500 MWe from the first reactor before this weekend. So from 1988 to date providing energy succour, Kudankulam has come a long way indeed ~ amidst protests by groups of people, supported by some sinister designs.

The first reactor, which attained criticality at 11.50 p.m. on July 13, was expected to attain its full generation capacity by the end of October. However, fine-tuning of the Russian-origin components delayed commencement of power-generation.  Now on, Tamil Nadu will generate 1,440 MW of nuclear power, the most in the country,  and the beginning has been made now.  Tamil Nadu is  the first state to have nuclear power plants in two places — Kalpakkam and Kudankulam. Tamil Nadu will displace Maharashtra, which has four reactors with a total capacity of 1,400MW, from the top spot. Other states with significant nuclear power capacity are Rajasthan with six reactors capable of generating 1,180MW, and Karnataka with four reactors with a total capacity of 880MW. Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat each have two reactors of 880MW. With Kudankulam, India will increase its nuclear power capacity to 5,780MW from 4,780MW.   

TOi reports that as per the original agreement between the beneficiaries of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry, Nuclear Power Corporation was to sell the power at Rs 3.50 per unit. “We are planning to revise the price at which the power will be sold,” said Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project site director R S Sundar.

More than Kudankulam, some newspapers have been devoting more space for the orchestrated protests from Idinthiakarai…. As one could recall, the agitations at some point turned violent too…….. betraying the inherent contradictions of a “peaceful” “Gandhian” movement that the anti-Kudankulam agitation claimed itself to be. The agitation in between changed colours and a 4000-strong group of people moved towards the plant threatening to disrupt its activity, preventing engineers from going in and some had the audacity to question the knowledge and understanding of honourable APJ asking whether he was a nuclear scientists ~ the Questioners had no knowledge of Nuke was conveniently forgotten.  Their protests have been prominently covered by some newspapers ~ and many people know it all……….

Nation is happy that it is functional and the first current is energizing the Nation.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Oct 2o13


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