Russia has delivered the primary equipment required for the third unit of India's Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu state, the Russian state nuclear group Rosatom has revealed.
The equipment provides enhanced safety features and serves as a protective shell that excludes radioactive emissions into the environment.
Andrey Lebedev, Vice-President for projects in India, said all main equipment items located within the red line of the reactor's pit installation were delivered. Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation is the leading equipment supplier and technical consultant for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant project.
"Taking into account that four steam generators, a pressurizer, main coolant pipelines, a bubbler were delivered earlier, generally JSC ASE has completed the procurement of the containment equipment for power unit No.3 to ensure uninterruptible and continuous operation for the reactor plant construction which is on the critical path of the Project", - Andrey Lebedev mentioned.
Among other items of crucial equipment, the shipment consisted of the molten core catcher, which is an essential passive safety system in Russian designed modern nuclear power plants.
The equipment is part of the enhanced safety features in VVER-1000 reactors. VVER is an acronym for "Voda Voda Energo Reactor" meaning water-cooled, water-moderated energy reactor. The VVER reactors belong to the family of Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs). The Kudankulam-VVER has a three-year fuel cycle. This reactor requires annual refuelling of one-third of the core, i.e., approximately 55 fuel assemblies.
The Russian company said a thrust truss and devices for neutron-flux monitoring chambers allocation are expected to be delivered in the next shipload.
A core melt localisation device (CMLD), or a "core catcher"- installed at the bottom of the plants' protective shell- allows the integrity of the protective shell to be preserved and thus excludes radioactive emissions into the environment, even if a hypothetical accident is severe.
While the first and second units of the Kudankulum Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) with capacities of 1000 MW each are fully operational at the site, the third and fourth units are being constructed for approximately $6 billion.
With a total capacity of over 6,000 MW, Kudankulam NPP is being constructed within the scope of a Russian-Indian agreement.
In October 2013, Unit-1 of the Kudankulam NPP was connected to the southern power grid. Three years later in August 2016, Unit-2 of the Kudankulam NPP was connected to the power grid.
The contracts for the construction of Unit-5 and Unit-6 have been signed, and preparatory works are in progress. The total completion cost for the six units at Kudankulam is about $17 billion.