kaiga unit 1 has set a new world record for continuous operation of a nuclear power reactor of any type. the pressurised heavy water reactor (phwr) has now completed 941 unbroken days of operation since 13 may 2016.
the previous record holder was unit 2 of the uk's heysham ii plant, an advanced gas-cooled reactor (agr) which had completed an unbroken 940 days in service when it was taken offline for a scheduled maintenance outage in september 2016.
"at 0920 hours on december 10, 2018, unit 1 of kgs [kaiga generating station] achieved a world record feat in continuous operation of nuclear power reactors by clocking 941 days of non-stop run establishing india as the frontrunner in continuous operation among all types of nuclear power reactors. in the course of the record breaking run, unit 1 of kgs plant operated with a capacity factor of 99.4%," india's department of atomic energy said.
kaiga, in karnataka, is home to four indian-designed 220 mwe phwrs. kaiga 1 began commercial operation in 2000. in october, the unit set a new world record for continuous operation of a phwr when it completed its 895th day of continuous operation. the previous record for a phwr was set in 1994 by canada's pickering unit 7, with an unbroken run of 894 days' operation.
both phwrs and agrs are designed to be refuelled without being shut down. three of nuclear power corporation of india ltd's reactors - kaiga 1, which is still in operation, rajasthan unit 3 and rajasthan 5 - have now achieved continuous operating runs of over two years, the company said.