The main equipment for the under construction third unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu have been shipped, a key Russian supplier for the project said on Monday.
The Rosatom State Corporation, the main equipment supplier and technical consultant for the Indo-Russian joint venture KNPP in Tirunelveli district in southern Tamil Nadu, said it had "completed" the supply of the materials, including embedded parts of the reactor pit.
"The shipment consisted of the molten core catcher, embedded parts of the reactor pit, dry protection, heat-insulation of the cylindrical shell/barrel, truss buckstay (and) reactor vessel," it said in an official release.
These were part of the enhanced safety features in the reactors, it said.
According to the release, a "core melt localisation device (CMLD), or a core catcher is one of the most important passive safety systems of modern nuclear power plants of Russian design."
"CMLD is installed at the bottom of the plant's protective shell. It is designed to localise and cool the molten core material in case of a hypothetical accident that could lead to damage to the core," the release said.
It allows the integrity of the protective shell to be preserved and thus excludes radioactive emission in the environment, even if the hypothetical accident was "serious," Rosatom added.
Andrey Lebedev, Vice-President for projects in India of ASE, the Engineering Division of Rosatom State Corporation, was quoted as saying "ASE has mostly completed the procurement of the containment equipment for the third unit" of KNPP.
This was done to "ensure uninterruptible and continuous operations for the reactor plant construction which is on the critical path of the project," he said.
"The contracts for construction of Unit-5 and Unit-6 have been signed and the preparatory works are in progress," the release added.
Under the pact with Russia, the KNPP would have six units of 1000 MWe each. Units I and II have commenced commercial operations while Units III and IV are under construction.
While the cumulative generation of Unit I since its commercial operation in December 31, 2014 till July 2019 was 19,468 million units (MUs), that of Unit II stood at 9371 MUs, according to information made available by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
Unit II commenced commercial operations on March 31, 2017.
The unit III and IV are expected to begin commercial operations in March and November 2023 respectively, according to the NPCIL.
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