Construction officially begins on Kudankulam 3 and 4

30 June 2017

The first pouring of structural concrete for two Russian-built VVER reactors at Kudankulam units 3 and 4 was marked yesterday at the site in Tamil Nadu, India. The milestone followed approval last week by India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The units represent the second phase of the Kudankulam project.

Pouring of the first structural concrete marks the formal start of construction of a nuclear unit, although site preparation works have been underway for several years.

Valery Limarenko, president of Rosatom engineering subsidiary ASE Group, noted in a statement the Russia-Indian "strategic vision" on cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy that foresees construction of at least 12 new Russian-designed power units in India by 2020.

"We intend to continue sharing our best practices with India in this important industry, facilitating the energy security of this friendly country," Limarenko said.

"Construction of Kudankulam nuclear power plant with our assistance is a flagship project. At the end of 2016 and start of 2017, our company performed the final hand-over of the first power unit and the provisional hand-over of the second power unit to the customer; those events were commemorated by a ceremony dedicating the units to the people of India. Today we commence the construction of the third and the fourth power units," he said.

Andrey Lebedev, vice-president for the group's South Asia projects, added: "Pouring of first concrete marks the start of the construction period as defined in the contractual obligations. This event represents the commencement of full-scale construction, thermal and electrical erection works at the site and the installation of Russian equipment at the plant."

Kudankulam is home to two operating VVER reactors which entered commercial operation in December 2014 and April 2017. The new units are being built as part of an inter-governmental agreement signed between Moscow and New Delhi in 1998, with a second phase to follow.

Units 3 and 4 will be a "repeat design" of units 1 and 2, with "improvements" based on feedback from commissioning and operational experience from the first units, the AERB said. The general contractor is Atomstroyexport, and the general designer is Atomenergoproekt. Both companies are part of ASE Group.

Russia and India earlier this month signed a framework agreement enabling construction of the so-called third stage of the plant, covering the construction of Kudankulam units 5 and 6.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News