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Kudankulam Phase III enters design stage

August 2, 2017

Russia and India’s project to build units 5 and 6 at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant has entered the “practical implementation phase”, ASE Group, the engineering division of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, said yesterday. ASE Group includes Atomproekt, Atomstroyexport and ASE Joint Stock Engineering Company (formerly Atomenergoproekt).

Atomstroyexport and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) signed contracts on 31 July covering the design and supply of the main equipment for the new units, ASE Group said.

Andrey Lebedev, vice-president for projects in South Asia for ASE Group, said the contracts mean design work can formally begin.

The two countries signed a framework agreement on 1 June enabling construction of this ’third stage’ of the plant, including an intergovernmental credit protocol for implementation of the project. The documents were signed at the 18th Annual Russian-Indian Summit, held alongside the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, by Valery Limarenko, president ASE Group, and Sri Sharma, chairman and managing director of the NPCIL.

According to the ASE Group statement, Rosatom and Russia’s economic and finance ministries approved the agreements for the third stage of the project on 17 July, and NPCIL’s board of directors gave its approval on 19 July.

Kudankulam, in Tamil Nadu, is home to two VVER-1000s. Unit 1 entered commercial operation in December 2014, while unit 2 reached 100% of its operating capacity in January this year. NPCIL signed an agreement on 3 April provisionally accepting Kudankulam 2 from its Russian suppliers and thus marking the unit’s entry into commercial operation. The unit reached first criticality in May 2016 and was connected to India’s power grid in August.

Two further VVER-1000 units — Kudankulam 3 and 4 — are to be built at the site in a second construction phase. The first pouring of structural concrete for these units was marked on 29 June. This is the formal start of construction of a nuclear unit, although site preparation works have been underway at the Kudankulam site for several years.

Source: World Nuclear News

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