More Russian specialists expected to arrive at Kudankulam soon
Primary coolant pumps of the first reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) will be subjected to another trial run shortly, for checking their functioning, according to the head of the Russian Specialists Group, Yevgeniy N. Dudkin.
The pumps had remained operational for more than a month when the ‘hot run' was conducted. The operation had to be stalled for a while owing to protests by anti-nuclear activists.
Major activities at the plant had come to a halt for five months as the protesters prevented officials and employees from entering the site.
Normal work resumed a week ago, after the State Cabinet gave its consent for commissioning the plant.
Over 70 Russian specialists, led by Mr. Dudkin, are now working at the project site.
More Russian specialists were expected to arrive soon to complete the tasks prior to the commissioning of the reactors.
Mr. Dudkin said that none of the Russian specialists of Atomstroyexport, the Russian firm constructing the two 1,000 MWe VVER nuclear reactors at the KKNPP, left the project site during the protests.
“We are handling the technical issues. Our extreme concern is safekeeping and maintenance of units I and II,” Mr. Dudkin told The Hindu recently at the KKNPP site.
Pointing out that some additional works needed to be done, he said, “It is not a huge work… the trial of the primary coolant pumps (to ensure) circulation of primary coolant has to be done.”
He said that 70 per cent of the necessary preparatory activity had been completed. Some works were pending for Unit I to achieve criticality and for synchronising the first reactor with the grid.
Mr. Dudkin expressed the hope that the time required to complete the pending work could be shortened if work went on for 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Asked whether nuclear reactors with VVER technology with a higher capacity were available (the capacity of units one and two in the KKNPP is 1,000 MWe each), Mr. Dudkin said reactors with 1,200 MWe were used in China. Such units, he said, could be used in the KKNPP also if the Indian side came up with such a proposal.
He thanked the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government for their help in ensuring the resumption of work.