Work on the third phase of the multi-reactor project at India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant formally commenced earlier this week with the first pouring of concrete into the foundation plate of the Unit 5 reactor building.
The project’s third phase comprises the construction of Units 5 and 6—both VVER-1000 model AES-92 pressurized water reactors supplied by Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned atomic energy corporation. According to Rosatom on June 29, preliminary work already completed at Unit 5 includes the concrete bedding for the foundations of the reactor building, the auxiliary reactor building, and the turbine and power supply buildings.
Partners in power: “For many years, the Kudankulam nuclear power plant construction project has been a symbol of close cooperation between Russia and India,” said Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom’s director general, during a virtual ceremony marking Unit 5’s construction start. “However, we do not want to stop at what has already been achieved. 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.”
(In October 2018, the two nations signed a pact to build six reactors at a site in India not yet selected.)
Others attending the construction launch event included Kamlesh Nilkanth Vyas, chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission and secretary of its Department of Atomic Energy, and Satish Kumar Sharma, chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), operator of Kudankulam.
Background: The initial phase of the Kudankulam project was completed in March 2017 with the commercial start of Unit 2, with Unit 1 having entered operation in December 2014. The project’s second phase, the construction of Units 3 and 4, began in June 2017, with the first pour of concrete for Unit 3’s reactor foundations. Currently, Units 3 and 4 are about 50 percent complete, according to NPCIL. Units 5 and 6 are scheduled for completion in 66 and 75 months, respectively.