Russia’s Rosatom state atomic energy corporation has delivered the main equipment for the third unit of the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu.
The shipment consisted of the core melt localisation device or ‘core catcher’, a passive safety system designed to cool the molten core material in case of an accident. The ‘core catcher’ allows the integrity of the protective shell to be preserved and thus checks radioactive emission. The passive safety system is capable of functioning in the event of a complete loss of power supply and can provide full safety without the active system and an operator.
The other components of the shipment are embedded parts of the reactor pit, dry protection, heat-insulation of the cylindrical shell, truss buckstay and reactor vessel.
Andrey Lebedev, vice-president for projects in India of Rosatom state atomic energy corporation engineering division (ASE), said, “Taking into account that four steam generators, a pressuriser, 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."
The Kudankulam project is being jointly constructed by Rosatom’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) under the Russian-Indian agreement signed on November 20, 1988, which was later revised in 1998 and 2008 for more units.
Kudankulam is one of the largest nuclear power projects in the country and is scheduled to have six Russian VVER-1000 reactors with an installed capacity of 1,000MW each. While Kudankulam unit-1 was connected to the southern power grid in October 2013, unit-2 was linked to the grid in August 2016. The 2 x 1000 MW VVER reactors of KKNPP units 1 and 2 have jointly generated 27,033 million units of electricity till now. Unit-3 and unit-4 are under construction.
In 2017, Russia and India had also signed an agreement for the construction of units 5&6. Preparatory works for the units are in progress.