India's Kaiga 1, a 220MWe pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR), has set a world record for the longest continuous operation of a power reactor after a 941-day run, India's Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) announced 10 December.

It said the milestone "establishes India as the frontrunner in continuous operation among all types of nuclear power reactors."

Kaiga 1 operated with a load factor of 99.4% during its record-breaking run, DAE added.

EDF Energy's Heysham B2, a UK advanced-gas cooled reactor, has held the previous record of 940 days continuous operation since September 2016.

India has 22 nuclear reactors with an installed capacity of 6.78GW, all of which are operated by state-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).

DAE noted that India has 21 reactors in various stage of construction, including four units at Kudankulam in collaboration with Russia, ten 700MW domestic PHWRs and a fast breeder reactor. Plans envisage increasing total installed capacity to 22.48GW by 2032.

"The [operational] achievement reflects the strength of indigenous capability to design, construct and operate nuclear powers plants and indicates ability to master high-end technology," DAE noted.

Photo: India's Kaiga 1 broke the world record for continuous operation at 09:20 on 10 December  (Photo: DAE)