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Updated: October 28, 2011 00:57 IST

Kudankulam: Russian firm does not rule out delay

Vladimir Radyuhin
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A reactor building at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. Alexander Glukhov, head of the Russian company building the reactors, said on Thursday that the company is 'taking time out to see how the situation evolves'.
The Hindu A reactor building at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. Alexander Glukhov, head of the Russian company building the reactors, said on Thursday that the company is 'taking time out to see how the situation evolves'.

A top Russian nuclear constructor does not rule out delays in starting up the first unit of the Kudankulam power plant in the face of continuing protests against the project.

“I think talks are looming ahead on reviewing the start-up schedule,” said Alexander Glukhov, head of Atomstroiexport, the Russian company building two reactors at Kudankulam.

“We have not yet set the date for talks with our Indian partners, we are taking time out to see how the situation evolves,” Mr. Glukhov told reporters during a visit to the Czech Republic.

The much-delayed first unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant is to come online in December, followed by the commissioning of the second unit six months later. However, protesters disrupted preparations for the start-up, blocking access to the plant for Russian and local staff.

Experts have excluded a repetition of a Fukushima type disaster at Kudankulam thanks to the safety features built into the third-generation Russian reactors, VVER-1000, installed at the power plant.

There has been no official reaction in Russia to the anti-nuclear protests in India, but Russian media have voiced concern.

“The Kudankulam crisis is putting the Indian leadership in a difficult situation ahead of the planned visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Moscow for talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, as the Kudankulam NPP has served until now as a symbol of privileged strategic partnership that Medvedev declared during his last year’s visit to Delhi,” said the Kommersant, a leading Russian business daily.

If the plant is delayed, India owes penalties to the Russian company, just as we would expect it to pay penalties for delayed construction.

from:  Ramdas
Posted on: Oct 27, 2011 at 22:05 IST
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