Narendra Modi, Vladimir Putin to hold talks on setting up 2 new units at Kudankulam plant

By: | Updated: December 8, 2014 12:08 PM

On December 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin will hold substantive discussions on setting up...

Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin will hold substantive discussions on setting up Kudankulam nuclear plant’s Units 3 and 4.Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin will hold substantive discussions on setting up Kudankulam nuclear plant’s Units 3 and 4.

On December 11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian president Vladimir Putin will hold substantive discussions on setting up Kudankulam nuclear plant’s Units 3 and 4, whose cost has more than doubled to $6 billion compared to units 1 and 2.

An Indo-Russian joint venture, Kudankulam’s Units 1 and 2 of 1,000 MW each are being built by ROSATOM, a  Russian nuclear conglomerate. Plans to set up two similar units at the site have been been firmed up, and they will involve funding by Russia. However, commissioning them seems like a long way off.

Sergey Kirienko, head of Rosatom, told FE, “In 2015, the company’s investment programme may exceed 320 billion rubles.” Rosatom’s investment programme allocated over 300 billion roubles to capital construction, more than 320 billion roubles the following year.

Last month, both countries discussed prospects for joint projects in the sphere of nuclear generation. The meeting, held in Mumbai, was attended by: Kirienko; Nikolai Spassky, deputy CEO of Rosatom; Ratan Kumar Sinha, secretary, Department of Atomic Energy of India; and other officials at the department. The items of the agenda were commissioning of Kudankulam’s reactors 1 and 2 and construction of the second phase of the enterprise, units 3 and 4.

Said Kiriyenko, “The experience accumulated by our companies during the construction of the first two units allows them to work very quickly over the following units. Kudankulam is a symbol of a truly long and lasting friendship between India and Russia, and I am sure it will remain so for years to come.”

The Kudankulam plant, constructed using Russian technology, is the most advanced project in the world. Its first unit has reached a minimum controllable level of capacity while the second is being prepared for a physical start-up.   Besides, as the power plant will use desalinated water operations will not have an adverse impact on agriculture in the region. During construction, the nature of the tropical oceanic area was also considered.

As of today, four pressurised water reactors of VVER-1000 type (PWR) with a capacity of 1,000 MW each are to be constructed at the Kudankulam NPP.  This project is to meet the current and future needs of the rapidly developing industry in energy-intensive areas in South India, where energy shortage currently totals 4,000 MW.

One of the key features of the project is that, in addition to traditional active safety systems, a number of “passive” technical solutions have been implemented. A reactor unit at Kudankulam is protected against impact from inside and outside (both of nature and industry), such as earthquake, tornado, hurricane, blast wave and plane crash. One of the distinguishing features of the project is that the power units are well equipped with diagnostic systems enabling maintenance and operating personnel to respond to signs of equipment failure, rather than to failure itself, in advance.

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