Chennai: The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant on Monday achieved an important milestone when the Reactor Pressure Vessel was unsealed paving the way for removal of dummy fuel and inspection of the vessel, moving closer to filling real fuel in the reactor.
"...An important milestone of unsealing of Reactor Pressure Vessel is achieved today. During early hours, the equipment known as "Multiple Stud Tensioner" was lowered on the top of the sealed reactor pressure vessel to loosen all the studs which are used for sealing the vessel," a KNPP release said.
This would facilitate removal of dummy fuel assemblies from the reactor pressure vessel. Subsequently reactor pressure vessel inspection would be taken up, KNPP Senior Manager (HR) K Anbumani said in the release.
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board had on May 10 permitted KNPP to open the Reactor Pressure Vessel Top Head, Dummy Fuel Assembly removal and the vessel inspection, one step short of filling enriched uranium.
The release said the process of commissioning activities were in progress on round-the-clock basis.
It also said RS Sundar has taken charge as KNPP Site Director from M.Kasinath Balaji, who has been shifted as the first Executive Director Operations-Light Water Reactors, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, Mumbai.
NPCIL last week said the 1000 MW first unit of the controversy-hit KNPP in Tirunelveli District was expected to start commercial operations in August this year.
Commissioning work of the reactor at the Indo-Russian project, which had remained stalled following protests by anti-nuclear activists citing safety concerns, resumed in full swing after the Tamil Nadu Government gave its green signal in March last.