Second India-Russia n-power plant may get powerful new reactor

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) As the world’s first Generation 3-plus nuclear power unit was connected to the electricity grid in Russia last week, experts in India said the next nuclear power plant that India and Russia are to jointly set up may get a similar reactor.
The Unit 6 of Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant in Russia has the most powerful VVER-1200, with 20 percent more capacity than earlier generation VVER-1000 reactors that India has at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant. It was connected to the Russian power grid on Friday.

Eminent nuclear scientist and former Chairman of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India M.R. Srinivasan told IANS that India expects to build similar units at the second site where India and Russia will be setting up a nuclear power plant.

“The launch of the new 1,200 MW NPP, such as the one at Novovoronezh is of interest for India. We expect to build the larger size units at the second site that is likely to be made available for Russian reactors,” said Srinivasan, who has played a key role in the development of India’s nuclear power programme.

He also said that the safety features at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, built by India and Russia, were good, but those in the VVER 1200 plants are expected to be better.

“India is satisfied with the safety provisions of Russian Nuclear Power Units. Indian and Russian nuclear safety regulatory authorities have collaborated at Kudankulam to enhance the safety of the reactors substantially. We expect the 1,200 MW unit also to have highest standards of safety and reliability,” he said.

According to the Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy Between India and Russia, both sides have plans to build complete construction and commissioning of 12 power units in the next two decades.

While Kudankulam is the first plant with six units — two of which are functioning now, the site for the second plant is yet to be finalised.

Vladimir Angelov, Director for Projects in India for ASE, the engineering and construction division of Russian state atomic power corporation Rosatom, in an interview to IANS earlier had said VVER-1200 type reactors will be constructed in India with implementation of the most up-to-date safety technological solutions.

Rosatom officials, meanwhile, told IANS all of post-Fukushima requirements have been applied to the new Novovoronezh NPP nuclear units.

The VVER-1200 units have better power economy, and involve lesser staff, a Rosatom official said.

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