Core catcher set up for Kudankulam’s 3rd nuclear power unit

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

Chennai,  Russia’s entity Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation on Thursday said the molten core catcher was installed in the design position under the reactor pit of the upcoming 1,000 MW Unit 3 at Kundankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu.

The core catcher or core melt localisation device (CMLD) will localise and cool the molten core material in case of an accident in the nuclear power reactor.

It allows the integrity of the protective shell to be preserved and prevent radioactive emission in the environment in case of an accident.

“Core melt localisation device is a unique development of Russian nuclear experts and one of the most important NPP safety systems. This is a special system for beyond-design-basis accidents management,” Vladimir Angelov, Director for Projects in India at ASE, the engineering division of Rosatom, was quoted as saying in a statement.

According to Rosatom, the main feature of the nuclear reactors at KNPP is the combination of active and passive safety systems that provides maximum resistance against external and internal influences.

“The passive safety systems are capable of functioning even in the event of a complete loss of power supply. They can provide full safety without the active systems and an operator. The core catcher, one of the elements of the passive safety systems was first installed at China’s Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant of Russian design,” Rosatom said.

India’s atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has two operating 1,000 MW Light Water Reactors (LWR), built by Rosatom, at KNPP in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.

Two more reactors of 1,000 MW are being built and the contracts for construction of Unit-5 and Unit-6 have been signed and the preparatory works are in progress.