IIT Jodhpur Proposes Offshore Wind Farms to Cool Nuclear Plants

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Jodhpur) have put forth a proposal to employ offshore wind farms as reliable power sources for meeting the cooling requirements of Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs).

The study, conducted at the Madras Atomic Power Station in Chennai, showcases the applicability of this strategy to enhance the seismic resilience of NPPs.

The findings of this research have been published in the Nuclear Engineering and Design Journal.

The proposed methodology comprises several stages, including estimating the coolant power requirements, designing offshore wind turbines and infrastructure, and evaluating the seismic safety at the chosen offshore wind turbine site under various scenarios.

The approach was presented by Pradeep Kumar Dammala, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Infrastructure Engineering at IIT Jodhpur, and Sumaja Kolli,  Scholar in the same department, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, Tsinghua University in China, and the Institute of Engineering Mechanics, China.

The case study conducted at the Madras Atomic Power Station in Chennai demonstrates the feasibility of implementing offshore wind farms to ensure sufficient cooling power during seismic events.

The study proposes the establishment of a 15 MW offshore wind farm equipped with three 5 MW turbines supported by monopile foundations in the Kalpakkam area.

Through state-of-the-art numerical models, the monopile foundations of the offshore wind turbines were analyzed considering soil nonlinearity and seismic liquefaction under anticipated dynamic loading conditions.

The results of nonlinear integrated seismic analyses indicated satisfactory seismic performance based on comparisons of monopile mudline displacements and bending moments.

Highlighting the future scope of the research, the authors of the study emphasized the importance of bolstering the safety of nuclear structures, given India’s pursuit of nuclear energy development and the proximity to seismic and tsunami threats.

The research was funded by the UK India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI) and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

In November last year, a Danish-Indian collaborative study aimed to support India’s 30 GW offshore wind target by 2030 identified fifteen zones for the first offshore wind development project.

In a recent report, the Central Electricity Authority estimated that India’s installed wind capacity would reach 100 GW and nuclear capacity 15.5 GW by the financial year 2029-30.

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