Tarapur Atomic Power Station (T.A.P.S.)
Unit 3 of Tarapur Power Station
Map
CountryIndia
LocationTarapur, Maharashtra
Coordinates19°49′44.33″N 72°39′40.34″E / 19.8289806°N 72.6612056°E / 19.8289806; 72.6612056
StatusOperational
Construction began1961; 63 years ago (1961)
Commission date28 October 1969; 54 years ago (1969-10-28)
Owner(s)
Operator(s)Nuclear Power Corporation of India
Nuclear power station
Reactors4
Reactor typeUnits 1 & 2: BWR-1
Units 3 & 4: IPHWR-540
Reactor supplierUnits 1 & 2: GE
Units 3 & 4: NPCIL
Cooling sourceArabian Sea
Power generation
Units operational2 × 540 MW
Nameplate capacity1080 MW
Capacity factor64.31% (2020-21)[1]
Annual net output7886 GW.h (2020-21)[1]
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

Tarapur Atomic Power Station (T.A.P.S.) is located in Tarapur, Palghar, India. It was the first commercial nuclear power station built in India.[2]

History

Tarapur Atomic Power Station was constructed initially with two boiling water reactor (BWR) units under the 1963 123 Agreement between India, the United States, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It was built for the Department of Atomic Energy by GE and Bechtel. Units 1 and 2 were brought online for commercial operation on 28 October 1969 with an initial power of 210 MW of electricity. Later on this was reduced to 160 MW due to technical difficulties.[3] These were the first of their kind in Asia.

More recently, an additional two pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) units of 540 MW each were constructed by BHEL, L&T and Gammon India, seven months ahead of schedule and well within the original cost estimates. Unit 3 was brought online for commercial operation on 18 August 2006, and unit 4 on 12 September 2005.[3]

The facility is operated by the NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India).

The personnel operating the power plant live in a residential complex called T. A. P. S. colony, 19°48′58″N 72°44′35″E / 19.816°N 72.743°E / 19.816; 72.743 which is a fifteen-minute drive from Boisar, the nearest railway station. The residential complex was also constructed by Bechtel to house both Indian and American employees. Due to this, the residential complex has a very Indian small-town look, with neat sidewalks, spacious houses, a club with tennis courts, swimming pool, a commissary etc.

In 1974 after India conducted Smiling Buddha, its first nuclear weapons test the West chose to no longer honour its agreement to supply the plant with enriched uranium. Nuclear fuel for TAPS has subsequently been delivered from France, China and Russia under IAEA safeguards.[4]

The residential colony features 3 central schools namely - Atomic Energy Central School No. 1 (AECS-1), Atomic Energy Central School No. 2 (AECS-2) and Atomic Energy Central School No. 3 (AECS-3), all running under Atomic Energy Education Society (AEES). The local beach at Chinchani is approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the colony.

Units

Phase Unit
No.
Reactor Status Capacity in MWe Construction start First criticality Grid Connection Commercial operation Closure Notes
Type Model Net Gross
I 1 BWR BWR-1 Operation suspended
(under maintenance)
150 160 1 October 1964 1 February 1969 1 April 1969 28 October 1969 [5]
2 BWR BWR-1 Operation suspended
(under maintenance)
150 160 1 October 1964 28 February 1969 5 May 1969 28 October 1969 [6]
II 3 PHWR IPHWR-540 Operational 490 540 12 May 2000 21 May 2006 15 June 2006 18 August 2006 [7]
4 PHWR IPHWR-540 Operational 490 540 8 March 2000 6 March 2006 4 June 2006 12 September 2005 [8]

Incidents

During maintenance of Tarapur-1, a blast occurred which damaged the chimney. Tarapur-2 was subsequently shut down to avoid any potential issues, completely shutting down the power generation capability of Phase-1 of TAPS in January 2020.[9]

Current status

T.A.P.S.-1 & 2 were shutdown in 2020 following the explosion at T.A.P.S.-1. Later cracks were found in the primary recirculation system in both units. Restart of the two units is planned for Nov. 2024 after replacement of the damaged parts. This will increase the operational life of the older BWR units by an additional 10 years. The parts are to be delivered from Italy says plant director Mulkalwar. T.A.P.S.-3 & 4 are currently operational.

Safety concerns

The Boiling water reactors (BWRs) at Tarapur 1 and 2 units are similar to the reactors involved in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. The age of the reactors, coupled with their old design, have raised safety concerns and, according to one local leader in 2011, the reactors had already been in operation for 16 years longer than their design lives.[10]

In 2007, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) evaluated seismic safety features at Tarapur 1 and 2 and reported many shortfalls, following which NPCIL installed seismic sensors.[11] In 2011, AERB formed a 10-member committee, consisting of experts from Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and India Meteorological Department (IMD), to assess the vulnerability of the Tarapur to earthquakes and tsunamis.[12] A. Gopalakrishnan, former director of AERB, said that since Tarapur's reactors are much older than the Fukushima units, they should be immediately decommissioned.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Monthly Genration Reports Actual for Apr-2021 : Central Sector Nuclear" (PDF). National Power Portal. Central Electricity Authority. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  2. ^ PRIS- Power Reactor Information System
  3. ^ a b "Plants Under Operation - Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited". Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS)". Nuclear Threat Initiative. 1 September 2003. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - TARAPUR-1". Power Reactor Information System. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  6. ^ "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - TARAPUR-2". PRIS. (IAEA). 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - TARAPUR-3". PRIS. (IAEA). 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - TARAPUR-4". PRIS. (IAEA). 11 February 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  9. ^ "No power generation at Tarapur phase I plant after blast cause damage to chimney". Mumbai Mirror. 29 January 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  10. ^ O'Halloran, Julian (27 April 2011). "Fears rise in India of Fukushima-style nuclear disaster". BBC News. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Atomic Energy Regulatory Board not quite subatomic". timesofindia-economictimes. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  12. ^ "AERB committee forms sub-group to carry Tarapur plant audit". Archived from the original on 21 April 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  13. ^ Doubts raised on Tarapur nuclear plant’s safety [dead link]