Russian agency begins work on 5th reactor at Kudankulam nuclear power plant | Latest News India
An official ceremony was held to mark the first pouring of concrete for the foundation plate of the fifth reactor building at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (NPP). Work on the crucial project has continued despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with Russia delivering several critical components on schedule over the past year.
“For many years the Kudankulam NPP construction project has been a symbol of close cooperation between Russia and India. However, we do not want to stop at what had already been achieved,” Alexey Likhachev, the director general of Rosatom or Russia’s state-run atomic energy corporation, told the ceremony.
“Rosatom has all the most advanced nuclear power technologies. Together with our Indian colleagues we are ready to launch the serial construction of the state-of-the-art Generation III+ Russian-designed nuclear power units at a new site in India. It is stipulated by the existing agreements,” he added.
Russian ambassador Nikolay Kudashev described the start of construction of the fifth nuclear reactor at Kudankulam as “one of the significant moments in Russian-Indian nuclear energy cooperation”. He added, “It demonstrates our firm devotion to achieve success in all bilateral undertakings.”
Russia is currently building the 6,000-MW project at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, which will have six VVER-1000 nuclear reactors, and is in talks with India to construct six more reactors at a new site that is yet to be identified.
Two reactors at Kudankulam are currently operational, and India signed a framework agreement with Rosatom in 2017 for constructing the fifth and sixth units.
The ceremony was held via videoconference because of Covid-19-related restrictions. The pouring of the concrete marked the official beginning of the main stage of construction of the fifth nuclear reactor. This was preceded by other preliminary works, including the concrete bedding for the foundations of the reactor building, the auxiliary reactor building with the main control room, the emergency power supply and the safety control systems.
Russian enterprises are manufacturing the equipment required for the reactor facilities and turbine hall. Rosatom said the technical solutions implemented in the Kudankulam project characterise the “further evolutionary development” of the VVER high-power reactors and that the new units meet the latest safety requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Rosatom said it has resources and competencies to offer solutions across the nuclear supply chain since it possesses assets in design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants, uranium mining, conversion and enrichment, supply of nuclear fuel, decommissioning and storage of spent fuel and safe nuclear waste disposal.
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