Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 23 (ANI): The Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant, Unit-3 (KAPP-3), India's first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) with innovative features, attained criticality on Wednesday.
"A nuclear reactor attains criticality when every nuclear fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons to sustain an ongoing series of reactions or a self-sustaining chain reaction. Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has carried out an exhaustive safety review of various safety aspects to ensure satisfactory compliances to regulatory requirements and granted permission for First Approach to Criticality of KAPP-3 on July 17," the Department of Atomic Energy informed in an official release.
"Due to prevailing COVID-19 situation, the safety review was carried out by working from home, partial working from office and through discussions and meetings over video conferencing. The criticality has been witnessed by the AERB Observer Team posted at Kakrapar Site and by AERB experts at Headquarters through live streaming from KAPP-3 Control Room," the release added.
The third unit of the plant attained its first criticality around 9.36 am on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the achievement of Indian nuclear scientists, in a tweet.
The Prime Minister said, "Congratulations to our nuclear scientists for achieving criticality of Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant-3! This indigenously designed 700 MWe KAPP-3 reactor is a shining example of Make in India. And a trailblazer for many such future achievements!"
KAPP-3 is located at the Kakrapar site in Gujarat, where already two 220 MWe PHWRs (KAPS-1 and KAPS-2) are in operation and another 700 MWe PHWR (KAPP-4) is under advanced stage of construction. (ANI)