Recently, power generation unit 1 at Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat was shut down for indefinitely period after leakage of heavy water.
The reactor was shut down as per design provisions after a small leak in the Primary Heat Transport (PHT) System of the plant was detected.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), operator of KAPS has confirmed that there was no harmful, radioactive leakage and the backup safety mechanisms for emergency situation are working as intended.
Kakrapar nuclear plant
- The nuclear plant is located near Vyara in south Gujarat. It consists of two units of pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR) of 220 MW each. NPCIL is operator the plant.
- The first reactor was commissioned in September 1992 and it started commercial power production in May 1993.
- The second reactor was commissioned in January 1995 and began commercial production in September 1995. Since July 2015, the second unit has been shut for maintenance.
Heavy water (deuterium oxide D2O): It is used for cooling the nuclear reactor core i.e. as coolant and neutron moderator. PHWR is commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel.