`Kudankulam N-reactor to be operational by early next year`

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 16:10

Moscow: Construction of India`s first
large nuclear power plant has been completed at Kudankulam in
Tamil Nadu and it will be made operational by early next year,
a top Russian official has said.

Russia`s state-run nuclear firm Atomstroyexport, which
is carrying out the project with Nuclear Power Corporation of
India Ltd (NPCIL), said the main equipment at the 1,000 MW
capacity reactor has already been installed and currently
various tests are being conducted to make it operational.

"The project is ready as on today. The main equipment
has been tested and is in operation. The plant should go
critical early next year," said Georgy O Kumani, vice
president of Atomstroyexport.

He, however, said the date for operationalisation of
the plant will be decided by NPCIL.

Currently, reactors in Tarapur atomic plant have
highest capacity with each of the two reactors having a power
production capacity of 540 MW.

Kumani said there is "no unsolved problems" in the
unit which can create "stumbling blocks" for its early
operationalisation. The work on the project had begun three
years back.

The second unit of Kudankulam power plant is expected
to be made operational within a year of commissioning of

The then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and then
USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev had signed an agreement for
the project in 1988 but it remained in limbo for 10 years due
to political and economic upheaval in Soviet Union and its
breakup in 1991.

The negotiations were held again in 2000 and MoU for
the project was signed between India and Russia.

Asked about key features of the nuclear power plant,
Kumani said the "best safety features" have been incorporated
in the plant.

"This is a first kind of unit, probably in the whole
world, having best safety features. As for example a
technology called passive heat removing system has been
installed in the unit for the first time in any nuclear power
plant in the world," he said.

Kumani said considering the huge potential in the
nuclear sector in India, Atomstroyexport has decided to set up
a production unit to manufacture equipment required in
construction of atomic power plants.

Cooperation between India and Russia in the nuclear
field will increase further as India is our long-standing
partner, he said.


First Published: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 16:10

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