India and Russia discuss expanding cooperation in nuclear energy sector

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India and Russia have signed a protocol that supplements their 2008 intergovernmental agreement on building power units under the second and third stages of construction of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu state.  

A Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom statement said the protocol was signed following negotiations held at the KNPP earlier this week between Rosatom Director General (DG) Alexey Likhachev and India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Ajit Kumar Mohanty.  

Both the Indian and Russian delegations undertook a two-day visit to the Kudankulam NPP earlier this week to inspect the progress on power units being built under the second and third stages of construction and discussed the long-term cooperation agenda, the statement said.  

The second and third stages of the ongoing construction in India’s largest nuclear power plant of 6,000 MW capacity at Kudankulam involve building four more Russian designed VVER-1000 units – 3, 4, 5 and 6 – of 1,000 MW capacity each. The KNPP units 1 and 2, of 1,000 MW capacity each, started commercial operations in 2014 and 2016, respectively.  

“India is our strategic partner. The Russian-Indian nuclear cooperation lies deep in the first intergovernmental documents on the Indian NPP of Russian design that were signed back in the eighties of the last century. The end of last year was marked by a wonderful joint 10-year anniversary of the Kudankulam NPP unit 1 being connected to India’s power grid. Our work continues as part of joint projects in various areas of nuclear energy use, and we are optimistic about the further development of our cooperation,” Rosatom DG Likhachev said in a statement. 

The reactor pressure vessel for the fourth 1,000 MW unit at the KNPP was installed in the design position in the last week of January 2024.