India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) said on 14 March that it had achieved a major milestone with the dispatch of its 42nd nuclear steam generator to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). The steam generator is for a 700 MWe unit under construction at Rajasthan Atomic Power Project (RAPP). Its departure from BHEL’s Trichy plant was attended by senior officials of BHEL and NPCIL.

BHEL said it had been supplying India’s nuclear programme since 1976 including design, manufacture, testing and supply of critical nuclear components such as reactor headers, steam generators, steam turbine generators, other heat exchangers and pressure vessels.

The first stage of India’s indigenous nuclear power programme has reached its goal, with 18 operating pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWRs). These include 12 PHWRs, accounting for 74% of indigenous nuclear power capacity, which  are equipped with BHEL-supplied Steam Turbine Generator sets (10 220MWe units and two 540MWe units).

BHEL noted that it is the only Indian company associated with all the three stages of the Indian nuclear power programme – the first stage involving PHWRs, the second stage fast breeder reactors (FBRs) and the third stage advanced heavy water reactors (AHWRs). It has been a partner for over four decades in the development of the indigenous programme.

The 220 MWe unit-1 at NPCIL’s indigenously developed Kaiga Atomic Power Station (KAPS), which was equipped with BHEL steam generators, had created a world record of continuous operation for 962 days. The unit now holds a world record for uninterrupted operation.