Kudankulam II project launched

17 October 2016

India and Russia have officially launched the second phase of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant under construction in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu by Rosatom as part of an intergovernmental agreement signed between Moscow and New Delhi in 1998.

Putin and Modi - Oct 2016 - 460 (Indian government)
Putin and Modi at the BRICS summit in Goa (Image: Indian government)

During the summit, the two countries also announced they had finalized the general framework agreement and credit protocol on construction of units 5 and 6, with their signing to take place before the end of the year.

The inauguration ceremony was held during the BRICS summit held in Goa last week, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin also laid the foundation stones for the third and fourth blocks of the Kudankulam plant via a video conference. The conference included Putin and Modi in Goa and the President of Rosatom subsidiary ASE Group, Valery Limarenko, at the Kudankulam construction site.

Limarenko said in a Rosatom statement on 15 October: "Today we are handing over the second power unit of Kudankulam NPP for operation. We have undertaken great obligations and fulfilled them. This is an exclusive result of our joint efforts with Indian partners. Our unified Russian-Indian team did an excellent job. We continue our work guided by unconditional principles of safety and efficiency. I do hope we always stay one step ahead!"

India has completed the required preparatory works in order to start construction of units 3 and 4, Rosatom said, adding that all the necessary infrastructure and design documentation have been established. ASE Group's customer - Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited - has also obtained regulatory approval to carry out excavation works and has already started them, Rosatom said.

"We have started a new large-scale project on construction of the third and fourth power units," Limarenko said. "The current start of the second stage of Kudankulam NPP from the first concrete pouring for the foundation stone of units 3 and 4 is a next important step of our time-proven Russian-Indian partnership. We have intensely hard work ahead, but we are sure that only jointly with Indian partners can we achieve success in our joint activities in the interests of our countries."

The Kudankulam plant is of the Atomenergoproekt design with VVER-1000 MW power units, which fully meet the requirements of Russian regulatory authorities and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rosatom said.

In a separate statement from the India government on 15 October, Modi said: "Just minutes ago, with dedication of Kudankulum 2 and laying of foundation concrete of Kundankulum 3 and 4, we saw the tangible results of India-Russia cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy. And, with proposed construction of another eight reactors, our wide ranging cooperation in nuclear energy is set to bring rich dividends for both of us. It also fits in with our needs of energy security, access to high technology and greater localization and manufacturing in India."

In August, Modi and Putin inaugurated unit 1 of the Kudankulam plant, which is already in service, having started commercial operation on 31 December 2014. Output from Kudankulam 1 is being supplied to India's southern grid and divided between five states: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. At the end of the same month, unit 2 of the plant was connected to the electricity grid, becoming India's 22nd operating power reactor.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News