Russia's nuke energy chief to review Kudankulam plant
Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu), Apr 8: Russian Atomic Energy Agency Chief Sergei Kiriyenko will today review the progress of the construction of two Russian-supplied 1000 MW Atomic Power Stations located along the coast off Gulf of Mannar, 25 km north-east of Kanyakumari.
The five-member Russian delegation will be taken to the site by Atomic Energy Commission(AEC) Chairman Anil Kakodkar this evening.
According to sources, the visit of Mr Kiriyenko, head of Federal Agency of Russia for Atomic Energy (Rosatom), assumes significance as Russia had envisaged keen interest in getting orders for four more 1000 mw each nuclear power reactors being planned at the site.
Mr Kiriyenko, a former Russian Prime Minister under Boris Yeltsin, will be visiting the plant for the first time, especially in the backdrop of increased civil nuclear cooperation between the two countries.
Russia has recently supplied uranium pellets to fuel the two units of Tarapur atomic power stations, invoking safety clause of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) guidelines.
The sources said both the sides would also explore the possibility of supplying fuel to Kudankulam plant which is also under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
It was in 1988 that the Centre had entered into an agreement with the government of the erstwhile USSR for setting up of two 1000 MW plants at Kudankulam in Thirunelvei district. It was well recognised that nuclear power has the potential to play a much bigger role in meeting the power needs of Southern India which is poorly placed with respect to availability of coal and hydel resources.
The responsibility of entire plant design and the manufacturing and supply of all equipments, training of man power for operation lies with the Russian side and the construction of infrastructure, contract management, erection and commissioning of equipments lies with the Indian side, undertaken by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.