Another nuclear plant needed for greater localisation: DG Rosatom

India-Russia needs another nuclear power plant besides one at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu to bring greater localisation in effect. Acknowledging India’s request for greater localisation in building nuclear power units, Director General of Rosatom Alexey Likhachev says that it needs another nuclear power plant.

Likhachev, who assumed office at the helm of Russia’s state-owned nuclear company in October 2016, told the Indian newspaper the Indian Express that another site is needed to execute the strategic vision of constructing 12 units of Russian design to be commissioned in India in two decades. “We proceed from the understanding that the task our leaders have assigned to us within the strategic vision is to construct up to 12 new units in twenty years. It is impossible to do it without a new site,” Likhachev was quoted by the newspaper.

Referring to India’s requirement for more localisation, he added: “… the request for bigger localization depends on the number of constructed nuclear power units. Therefore, we are looking forward to our Indian partners to indicate the location of the new site.” On the recent visit of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to India in the beginning of October, the two countries had inked an action plan to further their nuclear cooperation. The Action Plan paves way for the second nuclear power plant in India to be built by Russia.

There has been buzz that the Indian government will allot a new site at Kavali in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh for Russia to build another atomic power project six Russian VVER-1200 reactors with each having a generation capacity of 1200 MWe. The Nuclear Power Plant on the second site will have Generation 3 plus solutions and with increased level of Indian industry’s involvement and localisation. Once the Indian government makes a formal offer to Russia, the Russian firm will conduct survey to ascertain the feasibility of the site.

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is the only successful example of nuclear cooperation with a foreign partner and Likhachev said it was about the “trust between our nations, our people in implementing the project”. The first concrete pouring ceremony for Units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant took place earlier this year. On-site preparation for Units 5 and 6 have been contracted.

“I would like to note the professionalism of the Indian sub-contractors engaged in the construction. I can say that as of today, the first priority equipment already shipped to India amounts to USD 600 million,” the Rosatom’s Director General added. The transferred major plant equipment includes a turbine generator and a core catcher, soon the reactor and the steam generators will also be shipped by the end of the year.

Talking about the understanding between India and Russia to execute projects in third countries, Likhachev said that it would serve as template for cooperation in other countries as well. “A number of Indian companies are participating in the bidding process for the construction works at the Rooppur NPP. We are discussing the eventuality of our Indian partners being involved in other projects in third countries as well,” Likhachev added.