MOSCOW, August 10. /TASS/. Putting into operation of the first and second units of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant (NPP) will enhance India’s economic might, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
"Putting into the designed capacity of the first unit and in the near future the second unit will significantly enhance India’s energy supply and strengthen its economic positions," the Russian leader said via a video linkup at a ceremony dedicated to the handover of the first power unit of Kudankulam NPP to the Indian side.
The Russian president said that putting into operation of the first unit is a great event for the Indian partners and Russia’s operators of the project. Putin stressed that the unit is built based on the most modern Russian technologies and the construction was carried out by specialists of both countries.
"I want to stress that cooperation in the area of nuclear energy is an important part of the privileged strategic partnership of Russia and India," he said, adding that this cooperation has great importance for the development of both countries.
Putting into operation of the NPP’s first unit is a large-scale effort to create a new high-tech nuclear sphere that envisages preparation of staff and transferring competence, he said. Putin stressed that the NPPs built by Russia are absolutely safe and reliable. Russia is glad to share its experience in this area with its foreign colleagues, the president added.
The ceremony was attended by president of Russia’s Atomstroyexport nuclear power equipment and service export monopoly Valery Limarenko.
General framework agreement for the construction of the third stage of Kudankulam NPP
Russian President hopes that a general framework agreement for the construction of the third stage of Kudankulam NPP will be signed before the end of the year.
"We expect that a general framework agreement and a credit report for the construction of the third stage of the power plant will be signed before the end of this year," the President said.
"I am confident that our joint work on the project and in other areas of economic cooperation will bring visible, tangible results, will facilitate rapid, efficient development of our economies in the sphere of high technologies," he concluded.
Vice-President of Tvel - fuel company of Rosatom Oleg Grigoriev told TASS earlier that Russia was ready to transition Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to the advanced type of nuclear fuel TVS-2M with participation of Russian specialists.
"We are ready to transition Kudankulam NPP to the fuel as soon as possible in compliance with all the requirements of the Indian regulator for safety and security of fuel assemblies," he said.
"The only restriction for this project is time - UTVS fuel has been developed under the agreement of the parties for the next 3-4 years. As soon as it is used up, the station will use the new type of fuel," Grigoriev said, adding that in case the Indian side agrees with another project formula, transition to the new fuel will be faster.
The Kudankulam NPP is being built with Russia's technical assistance under the inter-governmental agreement signed in 1988. In 2014, Russia and India signed a general framework agreement for construction of the second stage, including the third and fourth blocks.The "road map" for cooperation in nuclear energy between India and Russia envisages the construction of 15 nuclear power blocks in India, including at the Kudankulam site. At the moment, Russia is the only country actually cooperating with India in the nuclear energy sphere, and building an NPP in there. The first power block of the Kudankulam NPP is among the most powerful in India, and meets the latest safety requirements.