Construction begins on third stage of Kudankulam

29 June 2021

Construction of unit 5 of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant has formally begun with the pouring of first concrete for the foundation plate of the reactor building at the site in Tamil Nadu, India. It was launched today by Kamlesh Nilkanth Vyas, chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission and secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy, in the presence of Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov and Satish Kumar Sharma, managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), in a ceremony that had to be held via videoconference owing to COVID-19 restrictions.

The start of concrete pouring for Kudankulam unit 5 (Image: Rosatom)

Units 5 and 6 - both Russian-designed AES-92 VVER-1000 reactors - are the third phase of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, also known as KKNPP. Units 1 and 2 began commercial operations in 2014 and 2017, respectively. Construction of units 3 and 4 began in 2017 and those units are now around 50% complete, according to NPCIL. Units 5 and 6 are scheduled for completion in 66 months and 75 months, respectively. This timeline would see both units completed by 2027.

Preliminary work has been completed, Rosatom said. This includes the concrete bedding for the reactor building foundations, the auxiliary reactor building (including the plant's main control room), the turbine building and power supply building, and emergency power supply and safety control systems.

Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachov said the Kudankulam construction project has for many years been a symbol of close cooperation between Russia and India. "However, we do not want to stop at what has already been achieved," he said. "Together with our Indian colleagues we are ready to launch serial construction of state-of-the-art Generation III+ Russian-designed nuclear power units at a new site in India." This is stipulated under existing agreements, he added.

Construction work is also under way on three Indian-designed pressurised heavy water reactors - Kakrapar unit 4 and Rajasthan units 7 and 8 - and a prototype fast breeder reactor at Kalpakkam, in addition to the Kudankulam VVER units.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News