The racks will allow the fuel assemblies to be stored safely close to each other.
In early August, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) placed its first order for storage racks from Holtec Asia for its new off-reactor wet storage facility at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. The facility will serve units 1 and 2 of the plant. In these high-density racks, neutron-absorbing materials are placed between the fuel assemblies, allowing them to be stored safely close to each other. The rack modules use Holtec’s proprietary detuned honeycomb technology and will be manufactured in India using METAMIC plates, which are the neutron-absorbing material, which will be supplied by Holtec’s Orrvilon manufacturing facility, based in Ohio, USA.
METAMIC is an alloy composite of boron carbide and aluminum produced by a powder metallurgy process. According World Nuclear News, the rack modules will be assembled by an NPCIL approved supplier in conjunction with Holtec Asia’s manufacturing facility in Dahej, Gujarat. Holtec Asia’s Engineering and Design Center in Pune, Maharashtra will administer and coordinate the project with NPCIL in Mumbai.
In February, NPCIL had placed an order with Holtec Asia to supply HI-STAR shipping containers to service this new off-reactor storage facility. It also launched a tender for the construction of a spent fuel storage facility for the third and fourth units currently under construction at Kudankulam.
NPCIL also recently awarded a contract worth around Rs.500 crore to German pump manufacturer KSB Ltd for the supply of eight primary coolant pumps for Units 5 and 6 of Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant in Karnataka. Deliveries of the pumps, including electric motors and spare parts, are expected to start in 2026. The contract is the company’s second after the 2018 order for eight primary cooling pumps for Gorakhpur Units 1 and 2 in Haryana .