NPCIL uploads dummy fuel into Kudankulam nuclear power reactor

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Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu), Apr 24 (ANI): The first unit of the 2,000 Mega Watt Kudankulam atomic power project achieved a milestone as dummy fuel assemblies were uploaded into the first VVER-1000 Russian made Light Water Reactor's core on Friday.

The dummy fuel assemblies were uploaded in to the reactor to assess its performance before the actual uranium fuel is used.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is building two light water nuclear units of 1,000 Mega Watt each at Tamil Nadu's Kudankulam in Tirunelveli District with the equipment supplied by Russia.

A total of 163 dummy fuel assemblies, or exact replicas, made of lead, of the actual nuclear fuel, each weighing 705 kg and measuring 4.57 meters in length, would be loaded.

"Kudankulam-1 totally is the major event where we have started loading of the dummy bundles and dummy fuel bundles and dummy fuel bundle actually is required to be loaded in PWR reactors to create the similar situation which will be there when the actual plant is operating," said S.K. Jain, NPCIL Chairman and Managing Director.

"The fuel assembly is 100 percent identical to the actual fuel which was in the reactors; only difference is that it does not have uranium. So this dummy fuel bundle loading has started which we hope to complete in 7-10 days time," he added.

The reactor box-up for conducting "hydro-test" and the "hot circulation flushing" of the primary coolant systems is done following the dummy loading.

The plant is expected to go on stream by December.

"As per our ambition and target, actual fuel loading we are planning to start in September, so that by December the plant will start generating power," said Jain.

NPCIL and Russia's Atomstroy Export last month inked a deal to build two more civil nuclear reactors of 1,000 MW each at Kudankulam.

A total of 12 Russian reactors are expected to come up in India, of which six would be built between 2012 and 2017. (ANI)

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