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Kakrapar-4 Nuclear Reactor Attains Criticality

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • The Fourth unit of the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project (KAPP-4) in Gujarat has achieved criticality.

About Criticality

  • State where the chain reaction of nuclear fission in a reactor is self-sustaining.
  • Each fission event produces enough neutrons for further fissions, maintaining a constant rate of fission and energy release.
  • Initial step in nuclear energy generation.

About Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS)

  • Nuclear power plant located in Surat, Gujarat.
  • Operated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
  • Uses Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs).
  • Fuel: Natural uranium.
  • Coolant and Moderator: Heavy water.
  • Four reactors – two 220 MW units and two 700 MW units.
  • Total Capacity: 1,840 MW.
  • The 700 MWe units are the largest indigenous nuclear power reactors built by NPCIL.
  • Unit-3 and Unit-4 have steel-lined inner containment systems to prevent radioactive material escape.
  • Passive decay heat removal systems for safe cooling even during shutdown.
State of Nuclear Energy in India

·       Nuclear energy constituted approximately 2.8 percent of India’s total energy production.

·       NPCIL operates 23 reactors.

·       Total Capacity: 7,480 MW.

·       Ongoing construction projects and sanctioned projects aim to increase nuclear power capacity to 22,480 MW by 2031.

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