India Home to World’s Second-Longest-Running Nuclear Reactor

Unit 5 of RAPS becomes world’s 2nd longest running reactor

RAWATBHATA , RAJASTHAN (TIP): India’s nuclear power program today, September 6, reached a new milestone after Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station become the second longest running reactor in the world by being in operation for 765 days continuously. The Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS), a 220 MW Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR), in Rawatbhata has been in uninterrupted operation since August 2, 2012 and it has been operating at full power with a capacity factor of 105 per cent.

The plant, commissioned in February 2010, has been running at the capacity of 98.5 per cent and until now generated 8,663 million units of electricity. Speaking on the occasion, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) Secretary Ratan Kumar Sinha, said the development was bigger than the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station (KKNPP) unit 1 reaching its criticality as the success was an outcome of India’s indigenously developed PHWR technology and it has sent an important message of “India’s superiority”.

“This is not only an emotional moment, but a moment of pride. There are only 10 reactors in the world that have crossed 500 days of uninterrupted operation.We can now tell the world that we are second in the world… and now numbers speak about this,” Sinha said. The DAE Secretary said in 1970 they would often make 3-4 trips in a month to RAPS because of the grid failure.

“People would then ridicule whether the power station actually works. At that time units 1 and 2 of RAPS were very new. India then developed the technology and mastered it,” he said. The Unit 5 of RAPS would be shut for maintenance, a mandatory procedure which is to be followed. Unit 7 of Canada’s Pickering nuclear plant holds the world record of running the largest operating plant that ran continuously for 894 days.

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