The second Unit of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS-2 — 220 MW) attained Criticality (initiation of controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction in the reactor) today (Monday) at 02:22 hrs, after completion of Renovation & Modernisation (R&M) works, encompassing En-Masse Coolant Channel Replacement (EMCCR), En Masse Feeder Replacement (EMFR) and other safety upgrades. This task was completed about three and half months ahead of schedule. In this endeavor, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), Nuclear Fuel Complex (manufacturer of coolant channels), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and various vendors/contractors rose to the occasion for this achievement.
The approach to criticality was undertaken after meeting all the stipulated regulatory requirements. This will be followed by conduct of various tests, connection to the grid and increase in power level to full power as per laid down procedures and regulatory clearances.
KAPS located in Surat district of Gujarat comprises of two units of indigenous 220 MW PHWRs (KAPS-1&2) which commenced commercial operation in 1993 and 1995 respectively. Two more units of 700 MW PHWRs (KAPP-3&4) are under construction at this site.
NPCIL operates twenty two nuclear power reactors (including RAPS-1 of 100 MW owned by DAE) with a capacity of 6780 MW and has eight reactors with a capacity of 6200 MW under construction. Work has also been initiated on twelve more reactors (9000 MW) accorded administrative approval and financial sanction by the Government.