The first unit of Kudankulam nuclear power plant (KKNPP) has restarted operations after undergoing refuelling and maintenance for a period of around four months.

Situated in Tamil Nadu, India, the water cooled and moderated (VVER) unit uses enriched uranium oxide as fuel to generate 1,000MW. It requires fuel assembly replacements at the end of a complete cycle, which remains valid for 292 days.

KKNPP site director SV Jinna was quoted by PTI as saying: “At 06:37 on 29 August 2017, KKNPP 1 was synchronised with the southern grid.

“Presently, the unit is producing 300MW electricity and the power raise will happen gradually.

"All the necessary tests were conducted and all the safety systems have been tested as per the regulations."

“For this planned activity, the unit was taken offline on 13 April 2017.”

The newly completed maintenance is the second fuel outage being carried out at KKNPP 1, which was developed under a joint venture (JV) between India and Russia.

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A fully automated machine was used to unload used fuels from the reactor core and reload. In addition, Nearly one-third of the 163 fuel assemblies were replaced and the remaining were relocated.

Jinnafurther added: “Various maintenance activities of systems and equipment have also been carried out during this outage. Subsequently, all the necessary tests were conducted and all the safety systems have been tested as per the regulations.”

KKNPP’s second unit features 1,000MW power generation capacity. It is also currently under maintenance and is expected to resume operations once the work is completed.