India pushing ahead with Kudankulam expansion

29 February 2016

Preparation for commissioning of unit 2, under construction with Russian assistance at India's Kudankulam NPP, is going according to plan, India's Minister of Atomic Energy Jitendra Singh said on 24 February in response to a written request from the lower house of parliament. The general designer of the NPP is Russia's AEP and the general construction contractor Atomstroyexport.

The construction of the Kudankulam NPP was initially agreed by the Soviet Union and India in 1988, but the project was frozen until the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) and Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom relaunched the joint project in 2012.

The first unit reached full capacity in July 2014, and is currently India's most powerful reactor with a maximum operating capacity of 1,000MWe. The unit was reconnected to the grid on 22 February after being taken off line earlier in February to investigate a technical fault.

According to Indian ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran, India wants to sign an agreement on the construction of new units at Kudankulam as soon as possible. India is hoping to sign a general framework agreement with Moscow on the construction of the fifth and sixth units at the plant, he said.

"We already have commissioned Unit 1 at Kudankulam and Kudankulam 2 is likely to be commissioned soon. The General Framework agreement for the third and fourth units has been finalized. Discussions are underway to finalize the General Framework agreement for the fifth and sixth units, and we would like to do it as soon as possible," he told RIA Novosti. He added that a total of 12 nuclear units would be built in India in 20 years based on Russian design, in accordance agreements signed in December 2015.



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