Nuclear Power Corp. Shuts Plant in South India Amid Cyclone

  • Both units safely shut during cyclone ‘Vardah’: spokesman
  • Company’s Kudankulam plant not affected by cyclone: spokesman

Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd., the nation’s monopoly atomic power producer, shut one of its plants in southern India after a cyclone made landfall in Tamil Nadu state.

Safety mechanisms triggered the shutdown of both units Monday at the state-owned company’s 440 megawatt plant near the provincial capital Chennai after power lines from the plant were disrupted, spokesman and Human Resources Director N. Nagaich said by phone. The cyclone hasn’t affected Nuclear Power’s bigger plant at Kudankulam in the same state, he said.

“Both units at Kalpakkam have been safely shut down. There is no damage to the plant,” Nagaich said. The company plans to restart one 220-megawatt unit in three or four days. The second unit will take longer to resume operations because of maintenance work, he said.

Cyclone Vardah crossed the Tamil Nadu coast at a speed of 100 to 110 kilometers an hour (62-68 miles), accelerating up to 120 kilometers on Monday, according to India Meteorological Department. Strong winds uprooted trees, airlines canceled flights and the state government advised people to stay indoors. Heavy rainfall is expected in some regions along the coast, the weather department said.

Mumbai-based Nuclear Power Corp. has an installed capacity of 5,780 megawatts, or about 2 percent of the nation’s total generation capacity.

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