Kakrapar Atomic Power Plant, Unit-3 (KAPP-3), Gujarat has attained criticality at around 09:36 Hrs on 22 July 2020. It is India’s first 700 MWe (megawatt electric) Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) with innovative features.
What is meant by “Nuclear reactor attaining criticality”?
A nuclear reactor is said to attained criticality when every nuclear fission event releases a sufficient number of neutrons in order to sustain an ongoing series of reactions or a self-sustaining chain reaction.
KAPP-3 is located at Kakrapar Site, Gujarat, along with two 220 MWe PHWRs (KAPS-1 & KAPS-2) which are in operation and another 700 MWe PHWR (KAPP-4) which is under advanced stage of construction. An exhaustive safety review of various safety aspects was carried out by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to ensure satisfactory compliances to regulatory requirements. The permission for First Approach to Criticality of KAPP-3 was granted on 17 July, 2020.