Manufacture of reactor, steam generators for India’s Kudankulam NPP starts in Russia

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The manufacture of the nuclear reactor and steam generators for the sixth unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in India has started in Volgodonsk, Russia, at the facility of Atommash, a subsidiary of the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, according to an official statement.  

Rosatom is the technical consultant and equipment supplier for the 6 units of the KNPP being built by the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). NPCIL is also the operator of the KNPP, units 1 and 2 of which, equipped with VVER-1000 type reactors of 1,000 MW capacity each, have been connected to the grid in 2013 and 2016, respectively.   

A Rosatom statement earlier this week said the reactor and steam generator shells for unit 6 have passed the inspection, while the items are at the initial stage of the manufacturing cycle.  

“Preliminary work for anticorrosive overlay is being carried out on the flange and bottom of the reactor. At the welding unit, protective overlay is applied to the bodies of the primary circuit collector of the steam generator”, the statement said.  

“The reactor is an item of safety of the first class. It is a vertical cylindrical body with an elliptical bottom. The core and internals are located inside the vessel. The vessel is hermetically sealed from above with a cover with drives of mechanisms and control and protection bodies installed on it, as well as nozzles for the output of sensor cables for in-core monitoring”, it said.  

The steam generator is a heat exchanger and a part of the steam generating unit. Its diameter is more than 4 metres, length is about 14 metres, and weighs 340 tons. The set of one NPP power unit includes four steam generators, the statement added.  

For the KNPP units 5 and 6, Atommash will manufacture and supply two nuclear reactors of 1,000 MW capacity each with internals and an upper block of the VVER-1000 type, two sets of steam generators, reactor coolant pump set bodies, main circulation piping, emergency core cooling system tanks, passive core flooding system tanks and two pressurizers. The total weight of the items will be about 6,000 tons. 

The construction of unit 6 was officially launched on December 20, 2021, with the first concreting in the foundation slab of the reactor building at Kudankulam in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.  

The first concrete was poured into the foundation plate of the reactor building for the fifth unit of the KNPP on June 29, 2021, which marked the official commencement of the third phase of construction consisting of units 5 and 6. Phase 2 of the KNPP construction involving units 3 and 4, to be equipped similarly with the Russian-made VVER-1000 reactors of 1,000 MW capacity each, are currently at an advanced stage.  

“The third stage of the Kudankulam NPP will provide additional power capacity to ensure the industrial and commercial development of businesses in the Tamil Nadu region and the Republic of India as a whole; moreover, it will promote more confidence in our friendly countries’ prospects to expand peaceful nuclear cooperation by using the most advanced projects of high-capacity nuclear power units of Russian design”, Rosatom arm ASE’s Vice-President for Projects in India and Prospective Projects, Andrey Lebedev, said in a statement last month.   

The Kudankulam NPP units meet the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety requirements and the VVER-1000 reactors are equipped with state-of-the-art safety features.