What connects Tarapur Narora and Kakrapar

Kakrapar nuclear power plant

The Kakrapar nuclear power plant (English Kakrapar Atomic Power Station, short KAPS, hindi काकरापार परमाणु ऊर्जा संयंत्र) is near Mandvi in ​​the Indian state of Gujarat. The plant consists of four reactors that are not operated under IAEA safety regulations.[1]


In the 1980s, the Indian Ministry of Energy set up a program to develop the nuclear power plant industry up to the year 2000. In the future it was planned that the ministry would design, build and operate new plants through subcontractors.[2] As part of the Indian nuclear energy program, the Kakrapar nuclear power plant was planned with two reactors, which should go into operation by 1990 and 1991. The first work on the site began in 1981, making it the fifth Indian nuclear power plant.[3] Construction of the first reactor began on December 1, 1984.[4] At the same time, all components for blocks 1 and 2 were ordered in advance.[3] Construction of Unit 2 began on April 1, 1985.[4] In order to shorten the construction time, modifications were made to the reactor vessel, called Calandria. It normally takes around seven years to manufacture this container in India. The changes made it possible to reduce the production of these components to around a year.[3]


The first block, Kakrapar-1, was first synchronized with the power grid on November 24, 1992 and entered commercial operation on May 6, 1993. Kakrapar-2 went into operation on March 4, 1995, and the block went into commercial operation on September 1, 1995.[4] The commissioning was highly controversial, as the emergency cooling system of the reactors had not been checked beforehand as it was not yet functional.[5] As recently as 1995, 35 thorium fuel bundles were placed in both reactors during routine maintenance in Kakrapar-1 and -2, both in high and low capacity channels.[6] The first block in Kakrapar was the first plant in the world that was equipped with a heavy water reactor and used thorium as fuel.[7] There were a total of 500 kilograms in the reactor core. In order to avoid a power flattening in the core, slightly enriched uranium was used to increase the reactivity. In 1995 it was possible to run around 300 full-load hours with thorium fuel in the first block and 100 full-load hours in block 2.[8]

Between 1999 and 2000, the plants were upgraded by installing a new user interface for the control system of the reactors.[9] In 2002 and 2003 the first reactor achieved a gross capacity factor of 98.4%, setting a world record for heavy water reactors.[10] After the attacks in New Delhi, there were initial fears that the Indian nuclear facilities could also be the target of a terrorist attack. Because of this, the monitoring of the nuclear power plants was intensified. In August 2006, in the vicinity of the Kakrapar nuclear power plant, several people sighted two men who had entered a prohibited zone with automatic weapons. However, this zone is not yet one of the endangered areas around the nuclear power plant.[11]

Technical details

Unit 1 and 2 are each equipped with a pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR). In both blocks, the gross output is 220 MW with a net output of 202 MW.[4]

Kakrapar 3 & 4

On December 24, 2006, the Indian Minister for Environment and Forests confirmed that two more reactors are to be built in Kakrapar, each with a capacity of 700 MW. The two reactors will be the first in India with this capacity. The planning had already started before 2006. The reactors are being built by the operator, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. The first work on the site began in 2007. It was planned to be able to pour the first concrete for the reactors by 2008.[12] The construction of the two reactors officially began on November 22, 2010.[4]


Kakrapar 1 went online for the first time on January 10, 2021.[4]

Civil Protection Plans

In the event of an accident at the Kakrapar nuclear power plant, there are plans to evacuate the population in the area and take them to cities further away. This plan is criticized because the settlement can only be reached by the workers of the nuclear power plants via a bridge. According to the official evacuation scenario, people would first have to pass the nuclear power plant, over the bridge to the other bank, and only then move away from the scene of the accident. It was feared that the bridge could be a bottleneck in the event of an evacuation and could lead to a stop of the convoy. There are also some shelters in the city, mainly schools that were designed for this, but the capacities for all people are too small. The Ministry of Energy tried to stifle these discussions. An example from 1985 showed how to proceed. Max Müller Bhavan, a professor at Göthe University in Mumbai, invited to a seminar to compare the safety standards between Germany and India. Five days before the seminar, the Ministry of External Affairs canceled the seminar on behalf of the Ministry of Energy.[5]

Data of the reactor blocks

The Kakrapar nuclear power plant is equipped with four reactors, two of which are in operation and two more are under construction.

Reactor block[4] Reactor type power start of building Netzsyn-
cial operation
Type Construction line net Gross
Kakrapar-1 PHWR IPHWR-220 202 MW 220 MW 01.12.1984 24.11.1992 06.05.1993
Kakrapar-2 PHWR IPHWR-220 202 MW 220 MW 01.04.1985 04.03.1995 01.09.1995
Kakrapar-3 PHWR IPHWR-700 640 MW 700 MW 22.11.2010 10.01.2021
Kakrapar-4 PHWR IPHWR-700 640 MW 700 MW 22.11.2010

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Michael Salewski: The nuclear century: an interim balance sheet - Volume 28 of Historische Mitteilungen: Einheft. In: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1998 ISBN 3515073213
  2. ↑ K.P. Yadav: International Ency. Of Educat. Plan. & Dev. (4 Vol). In: Sarup & Sons, 1999 ISBN 8176250686
  3. abcM. K. Khera and others: Energy problems and prospects: studies on Jammu and Kashmir. In: Concept Publishing Company, 1991 ISBN 8170220351
  4. abcdefGPower Reactor Information System of the IAEA: "India" (English)
  5. abItty Abraham: South Asian cultures of the bomb: atomic publics and the state in India and Pakistan - Indiana University Press. In: Indiana University Press, 2009 ISBN 0253220327
  6. ↑ C. Ganguly: Characterization and Quality Control of Nuclear Fuels. In: Allied Publishers, 2004 ISBN 8177646087
  7. ↑ Broder J. Merkel: Uranium, Mining and Hydrogeology. In: Springer, 2008 ISBN 3540877452
  8. ↑ Singh: Science & Technology For Upsc. In: Tata McGraw-Hill, 2007 ISBN 0070655480
  9. ↑ Ed. K.R. Gupta: Selected Documents On Nuclear Disarmament 4 Vols. set. In: Atlantic Publishers & Distri, 2001 ISBN 8171568858
  10. ↑ O. P. Gupta: Rise and fall of Vajpayee Government. In: Mittal Publications, 2004 ISBN 8170999774
  11. ↑ Igor Khripunov, Dmitriy Nikonov: Social and Psychological Effects of Radiological Terrorism - Volume 29 of NATO science for peace and security series: Human and societal dynamics. In: IOS Press, 2007 ISBN 1586037870
  12. ↑ Mahendra Gaur: Indian affairs annual. In: Gyan Publishing House, 2006 ISBN 8178355299

See also