The first reactor of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), which was generating power continuously for 112 days since January 18, tripped on Saturday evening due to a “minor technical glitch” in the hot water release section.
“The reactor suddenly tripped at 6.40 p.m. on Saturday after a minor technical problem. It will start generating power again within next 72 hours,” said R.S. Sundar, Site Director, KKNPP. Sources in the KKNPP said the technical problem identified in the hot water release section led to the tripping of the reactor, which was also one of the redundant safety systems incorporated in the reactor and its ancillary units. Though it was initially thought that problem could be sorted within a few hours, the need to externally stop a few more associated units and allow them to cool down prevented engineers from resuming power generation immediately.
Having identified the problem, the experts were working on it to rectify it, the sources said.
As some tests were conducted in the switch yard, a minor problem cropped up externally that led to the release of steam on January 14 last. Consequently, the reactor tripped. Though the unforeseen glitch did not have any impact on the functioning of the reactor or the turbine section, power generation was affected for nearly 96 hours and it was resumed on January 18.
Since then, the 1,000-MWe VVER reactor, built with Russian know-how, was generating power to its maximum capacity after it started its commercial power generation at 12.01 a.m. on December 30 last.