First criticality for Rajasthan 6

25 January 2010

Unit-6 of Rajasthan Atomic Power Project has reached first criticality, bringing the total number of reactors in India to 19 and the country’s installed capacity to 4560MW. The milestone was reached on 23 January 2010 at 21:53hrs.

RAPP-6 is a 220MW pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWRs), one of six at the Rawatbhata site in Rajasthan, northwestern India. In December 2009, sister unit RAPP-5 was synchronized to the grid, around a month after its first criticality.

RAPP-5&6 have been designed and built by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), a public sector undertaking under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

The reactors, which use natural uranium and heavy water moderator and coolant, were placed under IAEA safeguards in late 2009 and use imported fuel.

Construction of four 700MW PHWRs, including two more at Rawatbhata site, has been approved by the government and is being taken up. It is expected to take 60 months to build the reactors from first concrete to criticality.

India also has two VVER-1000 reactors under construction in Tamilnadu and is building Kaiga 4, a 220MW PHWR, in Karnataka. The country’s total nuclear power capacity is planned to increase to 7280MW by completion of these projects under construction.

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