Construction of fifth unit of Kudankulam n-power plant in India begins

Marking another milestone in civil nuclear cooperation between India and Russia, the construction work of the fifth nuclear power unit at Kudankulam in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu formally began on Tuesday

Jun 29, 2021
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Kudankulam n-power plant

Marking another milestone in civil nuclear cooperation between India and Russia, the construction work of the fifth nuclear power unit at Kudankulam in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu formally began on Tuesday. The official ceremony, where the dignitaries took part via video conference due to Covid-19 restrictions saw the first pouring of concrete into the foundation plate of the unit.

The Kudankulam nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear power station in India, is also the largest joint Russian-Indian project in the field of energy.

Ahead of the ceremony, the preliminary work included the concrete bedding for foundations of the reactor building as also the auxiliary reactor building alongside the main control room, turbine and power supply buildings for normal operation, emergency power supply and safety control systems.

The power plant in Tirunelveli district is a collaboration between Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM, and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) for building six VVER- 1000 reactors with an overall installed capacity of 6,000 Mega Watts of electricity.

Rosatom's Director General Alexey Likhachev described Kudankulam NPP as “a symbol of close cooperation between Russia and India”.

Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev said the event was “one of the significant moments in the Russian-Indian nuclear energy cooperation”.

“It demonstrates our firm devotion to achieve success in all bilateral undertakings,” he said.

Russian enterprises are already manufacturing equipment required for the installation, reactor facilities and turbine hall for Unit 5.

Unit 5 is expected to be ready for commissioning in December 2026. Currently, the first two 1,000 MW units are operational at Kudankulam.

The Power Unit 1 of the Kudankulam NPP was connected to the grid on October 22, 2013.

An inter-governmental agreement between India and Russia was signed in December 2008 for setting up Kudankulam's units 3 to 6. The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 and 4 was performed in 2016.

Unit 6 is expected to be ready by September 2027. There is 50 percent Indian contribution in the design of units 5 and 6 of Kudankulam NPP.

India had till last year 22 nuclear reactors in operation in seven nuclear power plants, with a total installed capacity of 6,780 MW. As of date, nuclear power produces less than 3.5% of India's electricity needs. 

(SAM)