Pressure vessel in place at Indian plant

05 February 2024

The reactor vessel for Kudankulam unit 4 has been lifted into its design position at the construction site in Tamil Nadu, Rosatom announced.

Kudankulam 4's pressure vessel is lifted into place (Image: Rosatom)

The company said the installation was carried out on 24 January using the "open top" method, first used at Kudankulam 3. This involves installing the component while the reactor dome is still open, which can significantly cut the time taken to carry out the installation. On the day of the installation, the equipment was moved to a vertical position, then lifted by crane to a height of 50 metres and lowered into the reactor shaft of the reactor building.

The pressure vessel, weighing in at over 317 tonnes, was delivered from Volgodonsk in Russia to the Kudankulam construction site in 2023 as part of an "unprecedentedly complex and large-scale" simultaneous shipment of two reactor vessels and eight steam generators for plants under construction in India and China, according to Rosatom.

After installation of the reactor vessel, installation of components for the nuclear steam system including steam generators, housings of the main circulation pump units and a pressure compensator will begin.

Kudankulam is home to two operating Russian-supplied VVER-1000 pressurised water reactors which are owned and operated by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL). Four further VVERs are under construction: work started on units 3 and 4 in 2017, and on units 5 and 6 in 2021. A fourth phase comprising two VVER-1200 reactors - Kudankulam 7 and 8 - has been proposed.

The general contractor is for the project is Rosatom subsidiary Atomstroyexport, the general designer is Atomenergoproekt and the general designer is OKB Gidropress.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News