Equipment for two new nuclear power plants arriving at Kudankulam from Russia

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in the beginning of September the Unit-3 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant being made under Indo-Russian cooperation got closer towards operationalization with the delivery of all key equipment being completed.

The Russian company Rosatom State Corporation is the main equipment suppliers and technical consultants for the Kudankulam power plant in Tamil Nadu. The key equipment included the ones within the red lien like the molten core catcher, embedded parts of the reactor pit, dry protection, heat-insulation of the cylindrical shell/barrel, and reactor vessel for the VVER-1000 reactor units. The passive safety features have been added to make the units for safe. The devices for neutron flux monitoring chambers will be delivered next.

“Taking into account that four steam generators, a pressurizer, main coolant pipelines and a bubbler were delivered earlier, ASE has mostly completed the procurement of the containment equipment for the third unit to ensure uninterruptible and continuous operations for the reactor plant construction which is on the critical path of the project,” Andrey Lebedev, Vice-President for projects in India of ASE, Russian Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation’s Engineering Division said in a statement. He also confirmed the delivery of the key equipment.

A core melt localization device (CMLD), or a “core catcher,” is one of the key passive safety features of the modern nuclear power plants of Russian design. Installed at the bottom of the plants’ protective shell, it localizes and cools the molten core material if there ever is an accident that could damage the core. The “core catcher” would help in ruling out emission of any radioactive elements in the environment in case of such accident. The passive safety systems will be able to function even in the time a power failure.

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is being constructed in Tamil Nadu under the India-Russia agreement inked on November 20, 1988 and later agreements signed on June 21, 1998 and December 8, 2008. In October 2013 first unit of Kudankulam NPP was connected to the southern power grid. In August 2016, the second unit was connected to the power grid. The third and fourth units of the project are under construction. The contracts for construction of Units 5 and 6 have been signed and the preparatory work is in progress.