Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin laid the foundation of units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam nuclear plant through video-conferencing. Earlier in the day, both leaders held delegation-level talks on the sidelines of the 8th BRICS summit in Goa.
While the first and second units of Kudankulam nuclear plant became operationalised this year, some work had begun for the third and fourth units before the summit.
Sources had told the Indian Express that PM Modi and President Putin had agreed upon “General Framework Agreement” on Kudankulam plant’s unit 3 and unit 4. The two sides had also negotiated on a “Credit Protocol” about the Kudankulam plant’s units 5 and 6.
The second unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, which was connected to the southern grid last week, is scheduled to begin commercial operation in December this year. Construction of the unit 2 was completed in July, 2015 and was loaded with fuel in May, 2016. Following safety tests, it attained criticality on 10 July. The Kudankulam first unit achieved first criticality in mid-2013, was connected to the grid in October, 2013 and began commercial operation in December, 2014.
Kudankulam units 1 and 2 are operated by NPCIL under IAEA safeguards, with supervision from Russian specialists. Enriched uranium fuel for the entire life of the plant is to be supplied by Russia.