India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has issued permission for the Phase-C commissioning stage at unit 4 of the Kakrapar atomic power project (KAPP-4) in Gujarat after a satisfactory Safety Review. Power will now be increased in three stages at the 700 MWe pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR). During the first stage (C1) power will be increased to 50%; in the second phase (C2) to 90% and finally (C3) to 100%. Regulatory permission is required at each stage.

The first 700 MWe unit, KAPP-3, at the same site achieved first criticality in July 2020 and began operating at full power in August 2023. AERB gave permission for the start of fuel loading at Kakrapar 4 in October and the unit achieved criticality in December.

Indian NPP operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has three operational units at KAPP – two 220 MWe units (KAPP 1&2) and one 700 MWe unit (KAPP 3). All four units at KAPP are indigenously designed PHWRs.

Image: Kakrapar atomic power project (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)