New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated nuclear scientists on Wednesday for achieving criticality of the third unit Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant in Gujarat. It essentially means that the third unit of Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant is now ready to generate electricity. A nuclear reactor reaches 'criticality' when it is ready for ongoing nuclear reaction or fission that generates electricity.
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!"
The Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant in Gujarat is one of state-run NPCIL's PHWR (Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor) developed indigenously, with a production capacity of 700 MWe. The DAE (Department of Atomic Energy) said on in a tweet, "Unit-3 of Kakrapar Atomic Power Project, located at Kakrapar, Gujarat achieved its first criticality – the controlled, self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction for the first time – on July 22, 2020 at 0936 hours."
"KAPP-3 is first-of-its-kind indigenous 700 MWe Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor designed by Indian scientists & engineers. Its components & equipment have been manufactured by Indian industries and the construction &erection were undertaken by Indian contractors," the DAE added.
The PHWR is a type of nuclear reactor that uses heavy water, or deuterium oxide, as coolant and moderator. The reactor is fuelled by natural uranium. India's first PHWRs were developed in Rajasthan, with help from the Canadian government. Narora Atomic Power Station commissioned in 1991 marked major indigenisation and standardisation of PHWR designs. And now, the Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant has set another milestone for the indigenous industry.
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