Russia, India agree to build 2 Kudankulam nuke power units

14 September 2016 RIA Novosti
An agreement for construction of two new nuclear power plants at Kudankulam, the fifth and sixth, has been coordinated and is ready for signing in the near future.
The Kudankulam plant is probably on the radar of many terrorist groups. Source: Corbis/Foto S.A.
A ceremony to hand over the first KNPP unit was held on 10 August. Source: Corbis/Foto S.A.

Russia and India have worked out an agreement to build the fifth and sixth reactors of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP). They are ready to finalise and sign it in autumn, said Sergey Kiriyenko, the head of Rosatom, at a recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We are now actively working on the third and fourth (units), the work has begun, and we have now coordinated with the Indian partners and are ready to sign an agreement for the fifth and sixth unit in autumn," Kiriyenko said.

He recalled that a ceremony to hand over the first KNPP unit was held on 10 August.

"Then they sent a request to expedite the commissioning of the second unit. On August 29 the second unit was launched, now there is a surfeit of power," said the head of Rosatom.

He said the Indian side is very satisfied with the work.

"We have better features in the unit than those mentioned under the contract. This is a case when we did better than we had promised. We get 2.5 percent greater efficiency, 2.5 percent more power at and availability factor, i.e. the benefit from it is 8 percent higher than that provided under the contract,"Kiriyenko said.

Responding to the President’s question about whether the former price of the contract stayed, Kiriyenko said that "fulfilling the obligations" was in the framework of the contract.

"But the product; this was also the head unit; was much better made, which was also important for our other projects in third countries. Everybody was watching how this project would be implemented and the fact that it is better than we promised is, in general, an important thing," said Kiriyenko.

The KNPP №2 unit, with the Russian reactor plant VVER-1000 (code B-412), was connected to the Indian national grid on August 29, and supplied it the first kilowatt hours of electricity.

The Kudankulam NPP is being built in Kudankulam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu within the framework of the Russian-Indian agreement of 20 November 1988 and the amendments thereto of 21 June 1998. The general contractor (for design engineering, supply of equipment and technical assistance) is JSC "Atomstroyexport", while the general designer is JSC "AEP" (part of the group of companies in the "Rosatom" ASE state corporation).

Russia and India signed a general framework agreement in the spring of 2014 on construction of a second set of NPPs at Kudankulam. A general framework agreement on construction of the third stage (the fifth and sixth blocks) plants has also been worked out.

In addition, Moscow and New Delhi signed a document in December 2014 on the strategic vision for serial construction of reactors in India based on Russian technology. The document defines the plans to build up to 25 nuclear power plants in India with Russian participation.

It has been reported that India plans to give Russia new sites for construction of six nuclear power units according to the Russian design AES-2006 with the VVER-1200 reactors.

First published in Russian by RIA Novosti.

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