The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has no plans to advance the refuelling activity of the 1,000 MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) Unit-1.
This information was provided by Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions and Prime Minister’s Office, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha by DMK Member of Parliament, P. Wilson.
In June, Rajesh Lakhoni, chairman and managing director of the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) and R. Manivannan, managing director of the Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Limited (Tantransco) had written to the NPCIL, asking for an advancement of the refuelling activity, in order to ensure Unit-1 would be available for power generation to meet the high power demand period in Tamil Nadu from the end of January to February 2024.
The refueling activity of KKNPP Unit-1 is scheduled from December 16, 2023 to February 28, 2024. Mr. Lakhoni and Mr. Manivannan, in their letter, asked for refuelling activity to be carried out from November 2023 to January 2024, so that power generation could be made available from the second fortnight of January 2024.
Meanwhile, KKNPP has told the Southern Regional Power Committee that advancing refuelling activities is technically not possible, as the refueling at Unit-1 can be carried out only after the fuel had been completely exhausted at the reactor.
Tamil Nadu has a power allocation share of 1,150 MW out of the total capacity of 2,000 MW of Units I and II of KKNPP. It has, however, sought 100% allocation of power from Units III and IV (1,000 MW each). The commissioning of Unit III is expected to take place by May 2025, and that of Unit IV by December 2025.
Tamil Nadu has the highest energy consumption among the southern States. The State saw an all-time high peak demand of 19,387 MW on April 20 this year. On the same day the all-time high daily consumption of 423.785 million units was hit. The State’s power demand is expected to touch 27,000 MW by 2026-27.
Tamil Nadu has been allocated 7,170 MW as share of its power from Central Generating Stations. However, as per the policy note of State’s Energy Department for 2023-24, at a time, the peak availability is only 5,900 MW.