First concrete was poured on 29 June to mark the start of construction of unit 5 at India’s Kudankulam NPP, being built by Russia’s Rosatom. Due to anti-Covid restrictions, the ceremony was held via video-conference. This signalled the official start of the third stage of the plant. Kudankulam is being built under a 1988 Russian-Indian agreement which was amended in 1998. The general contractor (in terms of detailed design, equipment supply and technical assistance) is Atomstroyexport, the general designer is Atomenergoproekt. Kudankulam is one of the largest nuclear power projects in India and is scheduled to have six Russian VVER-1000 reactors. Kudankulam 1 and 2 (stage 1) are in operation, units 3 and 4 (stage 2) are under construction and units 5 and 6 will comprise stage 3.
The laying of the first concrete was preceded by extensive preliminary work: concrete preparation for the foundations of the reactor building, an auxiliary reactor building with a control unit, a turbine building and a building for normal operation power supply, emergency power supply and control safety systems.
“For many years the Kudankulam NPP construction project has been a symbol of close cooperation between Russia and India. But we do not want to be satisfied with what has already been achieved,” said Rosatom General Director Alexei Likhachev during the ceremony. “Rosatom possesses all advanced nuclear power technologies. Together with our Indian colleagues, we are ready to jointly deploy the serial construction of Russian-designed nuclear power units of the most modern generation 3+ at a new site in India. This is stipulated by the existing agreements.” In December 2014, both sides announced a decision for the construction of at least 12 more units in India.
Russian enterprises are already manufacturing the equipment required for the primary installation, the equipment of the reactor plant and the turbine hall for unit 5. Already today, on the construction horizon of up to two years, the construction is provided with working documentation. Units 3-6 are being built according to the NPP-92 project with a VVER-1000 (V-412) reactor plants.
Image: The start of concrete pouring for unit 5 of the Kudankulam NPP (Credit: Rosatom)