Koodankulam project progress: Russians satisfied

TIRUNELVELI Feb. 15. A team of experts from the Russian Federation, which visited the Koodankulam Atomic Power Project site recently has expressed `total satisfaction' with the activities undertaken by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd .

In an informal chat with presspersons at the site on Thursday, the technical director and leader in-charge of the project from Russia, A. V. Kvasha, said some works done by Indian experts were better than what was done in Russia. He expressed the hope that the work would be completed in a satisfactory manner.

Replying to a question on the risk factors, Mr. Kvasha said this plant belonged to the family of reactors, which has more than 17 years of operating experience. The VVER-1000 type reactors have additional active and passive safety system making them new generation reactors.

The radiological impact of this project is so negligible that it cannot even be measured. The only environmental impact is the thermal discharge into the sea for the condensor cooling which is also negligible.

Mr. Kvasha said he was in charge of monitoring the environmental impact at Zaprozhe nuclear plant in Russia, where six similar reactors are under operation. Zaprozhe unit is very similar to the type being constructed at Koodankulam. ``We have added some more safety systems to this project''.

Mr. Kvasha said Indian experts were capable of executing the job as designed. But this being a different kind of reactor, Russians will participate in the commissioning and in the initial phase of operation.

Commenting on the site, he said this was a very ideal and it met all stringent requirements of the Russian Federation as well as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Project Director of the pant, S. K. Agrawal, said the purpose of the delegation visit was to carry out visual inspection of the excavated area, where the reactor buildings would be constructed. After the excavation is completed, detailed confirmatory tests were carried out to assess the soil condition and its suitability for construction.

Mr. Agrawal said these confirmatory test results are compared with the value taken in the design of the building. The NPCIL had conducted confirmatory test in the last one and a half months and these results were presented to the Russian specialists for their assessment.

The Russian team consisted Geologists and engineers. The team also interacted with the Indian scientists from the NPCIL, the IIT Chennai and other specialist's organisation in the country. V. K. Kaushik, Director, NPCIL, V. Behari, assistant director, C. B. Jain, chief engineer, participated.

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