Kudankulam reactors safest in the world: Russian expert

“Every part is being inspected by Indian, Russian specialists”

April 05, 2013 02:03 am | Updated 02:03 am IST - KUDANKULAM:

Head of the Russian Specialists Group at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Yevgeniy N. Dudkin said the superior technology and exceptionally high quality equipment used in the reactors at the KKNPP made them unique in the nuclear industry across the globe.

Speaking to The Hindu at Kudankulam on Wednesday, Mr. Dudkin said the ‘hot run’ of the first reactor had been successfully completed, as all components, supplied by the Russian firms, behaved exceptionally well during these tests. As the Russian government had established Quality Management System with international standards, the companies manufacturing any component to be used in the nuclear industry would always be adhering to international standards.

Right from fabrication to the erection of the components at KKNPP, every part used and being used in the reactor and the other parts fitted in the allied sections were being jointly inspected by Indian and Russian specialists prior to a series of tests conducted on them to ascertain their quality.

Again, the products were being received at the project site jointly by the KKNPP engineers and the Russian specialists, who would sign the documents to certify the quality of the components arrived here.

Any observation made by anyone during the quality check would be keenly followed and rectified immediately, as everyone had to give their consent at the end of the inspection in black and white.

“If any of the observation made by one of the members questioned the quality of a particular component, it will not be installed until the issue is settled. Hence, there cannot be any room for compromise in quality in the products supplied to KKNPP,” Mr. Dudkin said, adding that the issue of short supply of any of the components, if any, was being addressed immediately to avert possible delay in the execution of the project.

Mr. Dudkin said the VVER – 1000 technology, which has been used in the reactors under construction at Kudankulam, was a proven one, as two similar reactors constructed by his company, Atomstroyexports, were functioning well in China. This technology demonstration had won more contracts for Atomstroyexports in several countries, mostly in Asia.

“Inter-governmental agreement had been signed for constructing two nuclear reactors of 1,000 MWe in Bangladesh and construction on two reactors with similar capacity is to be started at Vietnam. Of course, we have planned to construct four more reactors at Kudankulam. This is purely because of the highest quality standards Russia has evolved over the years and the components with exceptionally superior quality,” Mr. Dudkin noted.

On the safety measures incorporated in the KKNPP reactors, he said the number of passive safety measures installed here had made the reactors the safest in the world. The passive heat removal system that could extract the residual heat from the reactors even during absolute power cut, quick boron injection system, the core catcher that would cover completely even the melted core, hydro accumulators and an array of few more safety features had made the KKNPP reactors unique in the entire nuclear industry in the world.

He lauded the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited workforce’s proficiency in nuclear engineering.

“In fact, we will be pleased to introduce such futuristic safety measures in the reactors we are going to construct in other parts of the world,” Mr. Dudkin said.

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