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Fuel loading begins at Kakrapar 4

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd started loading the first fuel into the core of the pressurised heavy water reactor unit on 20 October, after receiving permission from India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board.

Kakrapar 4 – also referred to as KAPP-4 – is one of two Indian-designed 700 MWe pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs) being built at the site in Gujarat. Kakrapar 3 (KAPP-3) entered commercial operation earlier this year, having reached initial criticality in mid-2020.

India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) said it had issued permission for fuel loading to begin “based on satisfactory outcome of the requisite safety review”.

Kakrapar 3 and 4 are the first of sixteen 700 MWe PHWRs planned for construction in India. Two units are already under construction at Rajasthan units 7 and 8. Site work has also begun for the first of four planned units at Gorakhpur in Haryana.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) said: “With the successful and stable operation of KAPP-3, the capability of NPCIL in setting up of indigenous reactors of PHWR technology of this size is validated and paves the path for early completion of the remaining 14 reactors.”

The Indian government has sanctioned the construction of ten further 700 MWe PHWRs to be built in “fleet mode” by the end of 2031. These are: Kaiga units 5 and 6 in Karnataka; Gorakhpur units 3 and 4 in Haryana; Chutka units 1 and 2 in Madhya Pradesh; and Mahi Banswara units 1 and 2 and units 3 and 4 in Rajasthan.

Four Russian-supplied 1000 MWe VVER pressurised water reactors are under construction at Kudankulam, and a 500 MWe prototype fast breeder reactor is also under construction at Kalpakkam near Madras.

Source: World Nuclear News