New Delhi: The actual parameters of the first 1,000 MW unit of the Russian-built Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu are better than its original design characteristics, a leading member of the Russian parliament has said.
“The actual values of the Unit 1 main parameters are considerably better than the designed characteristics,” Vasily Zhurko, member of the Energy Committee of the State Duma, Russia’s Upper House of parliament, told IANS via e-mail.
Unit 1 of the KNPP built by Russia’s atomic energy corporation Rosatom was dedicated to the nation on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying this marked the start of Indo-Russian collaboration in the nuclear energy field and that bigger atomic power units would be built.
“KNPP efficiency is 2.4 per cent higher than the designed figures. The capacity factor is 2.5 per cent higher. So India got a more advanced NPP unit than it had been initially planned,” Zhurko said.
“Indo-Russian cooperation in the field of nuclear energy is mutually beneficial. That’s the reason why our countries are likely to go beyond the construction of other units at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu and build units at other sites,” he said.
The formal dedication of the first unit to Russia came over one-and-half years after the unit started commercial production.
The first unit attained criticality, which is the beginning of the fission process, in July 2013.
Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa jointly made the dedication which happened via video conferencing by Modi here, Putin in Moscow and Jayalalithaa in Chennai.
Modi said five more 1,000 MW units would be built at Kudankulam with Russian partnership.
The second unit at Kudankulam went critical last month and is expected to be commissioned later this year.
In this connection, Russia has offered India a new range of reactor units — the VVER-Toi (typical optimised, enhanced information) design — for the third and fourth units of the Kudankulam project.
An agreement between India and Russia was signed in December 2008 for setting up Kudankulam’s units 3 to 6. The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of units 3 and 4 was performed earlier this year.
India has agreed to allot a site for a second Russian-built nuclear power plant in the country after Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, according to a senior Russain official.
Evgeni Griva, director general of Rosatom (South Asia) told IANS here earlier that India has agreed on allocating a site for a second nuclear power project by Rosatom.
“An agreement has been reached on the allocation by the Indian party of one more site for the construction of six new nuclear reactors of Russian design,” Griva said.
“We hope to get more detailed information about the site as soon as possible,” he said.
The Russian official said this was as per the agreement between both countries on nuclear cooperation reached in December 2014, which provides for Rosatom setting up nuclear plants at various locations in the country in the future.
Griva said the contract for delivering equipment for units 3 and 4 had been signed and initial permits obtained.