EARLY in August, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) placed its first order for storage racks with Holtec Asia for its new away-from-reactor wet storage facility at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. The facility will serve units 1 and 2 at the plant. In these high-density racks neutron absorber materials are placed between fuel assemblies allowing their safe storage in close proximity to one another. The rack modules use Holtec’s proprietary detuned honeycomb technology and will be manufactured in India with METAMIC plates, which are the neutron-absorbing material, to be supplied by Holtec’s Orrvilon Manufacturing Facility, based in Ohio, US.
METAMIC is a boron carbide-aluminium alloy composite produced via a powder metallurgy process. According to World Nuclear News, the rack modules will be assembled by an NPCIL-approved supplier in collaboration with Holtec Asia’s manufacturing plant in Dahej, Gujarat. Holtec Asia’s engineering and design centre in Pune, Maharashtra, will administer and coordinate the project with NPCIL in Mumbai.
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In February, NPCIL had placed an order with Holtec Asia to supply HI-STAR transport casks to serve this new away-from-reactor storage facility. It also issued a call for tenders for the construction of a used fuel storage facility for the third and fourth units currently under construction at Kudankulam.
NPCIL also recently awarded a contract, worth about Rs.500 crore, to the German pump manufacturer KSB Ltd for the supply of eight primary coolant pumps for units 5 and 6 at the Kaiga nuclear power plant in Karnataka. The deliveries of the pumps, including the electric motors and spares, are expected to begin in 2026. The contract is the second one on the company after the 2018 order for eight primary coolant pumps for Gorakhpur units 1 and 2 in Haryana.