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  • 05 December, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Russia’s Advanced Fuel Option for KKNPP

Russia’s Advanced Fuel Option for KKNPP

  • Rosatom, Russia's state-owned nuclear energy corporation, recently offered a more advanced fuel option to India's largest nuclear power plant in Kudankulam (KKNPP), Tamil Nadu.
  • It will be able to run its reactors for an extended two-year cycle without stopping to load new fuel.

Kundankulma Nuclear Power Plant Reactors (KKNPP) Update:

  • TVEL Fuel Company, a subsidiary of Rosatom, is the current supplier of TVS - 2 M fuel for the two VVER 1,000 MWe reactors that power the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP).
  • Because this fuel has an 18-month fuel cycle, the reactor must be shut down for fresh fuel loading every one and a half years.
  • TVEL now offers the more modern Advanced Technology Fuel (ATF), with a 24-month fuel cycle.

Benefits of the Update:

  • It will ensure greater efficiency, additional power generation due to the reactor's extended operation, and significant savings in foreign exchange required to purchase fresh fuel assemblies from Russia.

What is nuclear energy?

  • The process of splitting atoms in a reactor to heat water into steam, turn a turbine, and generate electricity is known as nuclear energy.
  • Inside nuclear power plants, nuclear reactors and their equipment contain and control the chain reactions that produce heat through fission, most commonly fueled by Uranium-235.

Nuclear Power Generation Emissions:

  • Nuclear energy produces no emissions. It emits no greenhouse gases or pollutants into the atmosphere.

Use of Land:

  • A 1,000-megawatt nuclear plant requires 360 times less land than a similar-capacity wind farm and 75 times less land than solar plants, according to US government data.

Importance for India:

Thorium availability:

  • India is the leader in the new nuclear fuel resource known as Thorium, which is regarded as the nuclear fuel of the future.
  • With the availability of Thorium, India has the potential to be the first country to realize its dream of becoming a fossil-fuel-free nation.

Reduces Import Bills:

  • Nuclear energy will also save the country about $100 billion in annual imports of petroleum and coal.
  • Solar and wind power are unquestionably the most stable and dependable sources of energy.
  • However, despite their numerous advantages, solar and wind power are unstable and highly dependent on weather and sunlight conditions.

Clean Fuel:

  • Nuclear power, on the other hand, is a relatively clean, high-density, reliable energy source with a global presence.

What are India's Nuclear Energy Initiatives?

  • India has made a conscious decision to investigate the possibility of harnessing nuclear energy for power generation.
  • Homi Bhabha developed a three-stage nuclear power programme in the 1950s in this direction.
  • The Atomic Energy Act of 1962 was enacted with the goal of using two naturally occurring elements, Uranium and Thorium, as nuclear fuel in Indian nuclear power reactors.
  • In December 2021, the Government of India informed Parliament that ten indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) would be built in fleet mode, and that it had granted "in principle approval" for 28 additional reactors, 24 of which would be imported from France, the United States, and Russia.
  • The Centre has given in-principle (first step) approval for the construction of six nuclear power reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra in December 2021.
  • The Jaitpur Project is an important component of India and France's strategic partnership.
  • Jaitapur would be the most powerful nuclear power plant in the world. Six cutting-edge Evolutionary Power Reactors (EPRs) with an installed capacity of 9.6 GW would generate low-carbon electricity.
  • The six nuclear power reactors, each with a capacity of 1,650 MW, will be built with technical assistance from France.

India nuclear power plants:

India currently has 22 operational nuclear power reactors with a total installed capacity of 6780 MegaWatt electric (MWe).

Among the major power plants are:

  • Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS), in Maharashtra
  • Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), in Rajasthan
  • Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), in Tamil Nadu
  • Kaiga Generating Station (KGS), in Karnataka
  • Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station (KKNPS), in Tamil Nadu
  • Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS), in Uttar Pradesh
  • Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS), in Gujarat
  • Among these, 18 reactors are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and 4 are Light Water Reactors (LWRs).

Source: The Hindu

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