Floating of caisson structure at Koodankulam plant achieved

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Chennai, Jan 30 (UNI) The construction of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) plant achieved another milestone today, with the floating and towing of the mammoth concrete structure in caisson inside the Gulf of Mannar.

The caisson structure, used for allowing the intake water for condenser cooling, was a hollow cellular concrete structure to be installed in the sea 1.2 km from the shore, a release from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said here.

The four caisson structures were initially made inside a temporary cofferdam (dry harbour) area near the shore on a sand bed.

The caisson structure for KKNPP was the heaviest concrete floating body of its kind made in the country. The challenge of construction and floating was carried out by the Indian engineers from NPCIL, while the design of the structure was done by the Russian company under NPCIL's contract.

The structure, which was 36 metre in length, 15 metre in width and 12.5 metre in height, had to be floated in calm sea condition, observing the tidal and sea waves for ensuring smooth towing operation.

KKNPP with an installed capacity of 2 X 1000 MW is the largest nuclear power station being constructed by NPCIL and the construction of units were progressing at a brisk pace.

The main reactor cooling and associated system is also progressing and the plant will be ready for initial fuel inspection in October, 2008, and fuel loading was expected to start by the end of the year.

This will be followed by detailed commissioning tests, regulatory clearance and unit synchronisation, the release added.

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