India, Russia may wrap up strategy to expand nuclear ties

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NEW DELHI: India and Russia are expected to conclude an ‘action plan’ for expanding civil nuclear energy partnership during their annual summit here on October 5.

The action plan will focus on a second site for Russian nuclear plant in India besides localisation of components for nuclear power plants under the ‘Make in India’ programme, bolstering cooperation for existing nuclear power plant in Kudankulam and initiatives in third countries, ET has learnt.

Putting an action plan in place for expanding civil nuclear partnership was a key item on the agenda during foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Moscow last week, officials said. Currently, Russia is the only country that is constructing a nuclear power plant in India.

Russia-supported Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) is one of the largest nuclear power stations in India. It is scheduled to have six VVER-1,000 reactors with an installed capacity of 1,000 MW each.

The unit 1 of the plant was synchronised with the southern power grid in October 2013 and is generating electricity. The second unit, with a capacity of 1,000 MW, had become critical for the first time in July 2016.

It was connected to the grid in August 2016 and started commercial operation in October 2016. The construction of units 3 and 4 are under way. The ‘first pour of concrete’ for unit 3 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, which marks the beginning of the construction of the project, took place on June 29, 2017.

Foundation slabs for reactor buildings of units 3 and 4 have already been made. The construction is on schedule, officials said. In March this year, the first batch of equipment for turbine building of unit 3 of Kudankulam NPP was completed and shipped out. Particularly, the first two high pressure heaters (HPH) were dispatched for turbine building of KKNPP.

Also, the reactor pressure vessel for KNPP unit 3 will be delivered by the end of the current year followed by KNPP unit 4 that will be completed next year.

During the India-Russia summit last year held in St Petersburg, both the countries signed the general framework agreement for the construction of unit 5 and 6 of KKNPP and an intergovernmental credit protocol necessary for the implementation of the project was also signed.

Currently, intensive ground and infrastructural work is under way for unit 5 and 6. Besides the KNPP, Russia is working with India for the construction of the first nuclear power plant in Bangladesh at Rooppur.

This year in March, the trilateral agreement was signed by India, Russia and Bangladesh. The three sides plan to cooperate in personnel training, experience sharing and consulting support. Under the agreement, Indian companies will participate in construction and installation work, supply of non-critical materials and equipment for the project.





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