Rawatbhata achieves nuclear power production feat

The two reactors of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station at Rawatbhata, near Kota.  

: The Atomic Power Station at Rawatbhata achieved a feat on Monday when Unit-5 completed 739 days of uninterrupted power production.

With this achievement the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station becomes the second nuclear plant in the world to run continuously for such a long duration — second only to Pickering Nuclear Generating Station at Ontario, Canada.

The Unit-5 project completed 739 days of non-stop power production in 13-56 hours, displacing from the number two slot — the La Salle Power County Nuclear Generating Station at Illinois in the U.S., Unit-1 of which had run for 739 days without a shutdown. In India, the Tarapur Nuclear Reactor had operated non-stop for 590 days.

“Normally if a power project functions for more than 300 days without interruption, it is considered good,” Vinod Kumar, Station Director told The Hindu. “It is our technical capability which has helped us break this record. The unit is indigenously designed,” Dr Kumar said.

Crediting the staff and officers, Dr Kumar said it was their hard work and meticulous planning that has ensured that the plant runs for two years without having to be shutdown for maintenance.

Canada’s Pickering Nuclear Generating Station worked without a shutdown for 894 days in 1994 which is unbeaten so far.

The 222 MW capacity Unit -5 at Rawatbhata power plant has produced 4120 MUs during these 739 days and 8525 MUs of power since its commercial operations began. Half the power produced in this unit is supplied to Rajasthan while the rest goes to the Northern Grid. This unit was first synchronised with the grid in December 2009 and attained commercial operations in 2010. The unit is scheduled to be shut down for maintenance on September 6 this year.