The Unit-1 of Kaiga Generating Station (KGS-1) in Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka has created a world record for continuous operation among pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR). The previous record of 894 days of continuous operation was held by a unit of pickering nuclear generating Station(PNGS) in Canada.
Located 56 km from Karwar, the Kaiga plant has four units. Each unit generates 220 MW power. The power generated is supplied to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Four months ago, the same unit of Kaiga had set a national record for continuous operation of 766 days.
It was constructed in 1989, shortly after harsh sanctions by the United states were imposed against India's Pokhran-II nuclear test of 1998. The crucial test made India a nuclear power by successfully detonating a series of five nuclear bombs.
KGS-1 now stands first among PHWRs and second among all nuclear power reactors in the world in terms of continuous operation. The unit has been operational since May 13, 2016. KGS-1 is an indigenous PHWR, powered by domestic fuel. It commenced commercial operations on November 16, 2000.
To get access to uninterrupted power supply, nuclear reactors depend on gensets. Notably, state-run BHEL is the supplier of steam turbine generator set for Unit-1 at Kaiga station. BHEL has been a partner for over four decades in the development of indigenous nuclear power programme since its inception.
So far, Indian nuclear power plants have demonstrated continuous operations for periods exceeding one year on 28 occasions. NPCIL presently operates 22 reactors with a capacity of 6,780 MW. Eight reactors having combined capacity of 6,200 MW are also under construction. Also, work has been initiated on 12 more reactors having a capacity of 9,000 MW.
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