Kota Heavy Water Plant

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Last Updated: September 1, 2003
Other Name: N/A
Location: Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu
Subordinate To: Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)
Size: 30 kW, U-233 fueled
Facility Status: Operational

Owned and operated by the Department of Atomic Energy's (DAE) Heavy Water Board (HWB), the Kota Heavy Water Plant is integrated with the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) for its supply of power and steam. An oil-fired steam generation plant was also added to ensure uninterrupted supply of steam during the shut down periods of RAPS. Canada began construction on the plant but ceased cooperation on the project after India's May 1974 test of a nuclear device. The Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) then completed designing the plant, which was originally expected to start operations in 1976. Problems associated with the accumulation of toxic chemicals created during the production of hydrogen sulfide gas, however, delayed commissioning until April 1985. These problems resulted in a cost escalation from 1.94 billion rupees to at least Rs. 7.2 billion rupees. Inadequate and unreliable supplies of power and steam from the RAPS reactors also plagued the plant and contributed to its low output. The two oil-fired boilers of the steam generation plant were added to alleviate the power supply problem. The heavy water plant uses the hydrogen sulfide water exchange process to produce up to 100Mt of heavy water per year.

[1] Andrew Koch, "Selected Indian Nuclear Facilities," Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 1999, www.nonproliferation.org.
[2] "Heavy Water Plant, Kota," Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), www.dae.gov.in.

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