NEW DELHI: Russia’s state atomic energy corporation has started manufacturing the nuclear reactor and steam generators for the sixth unit of Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

ROSATOM is currently building the 6,000-MW project at Kudankulam, which will have six VVER-1000 nuclear reactors, and is in talks with India to construct six more reactors at a new site that is yet to be identified.

The reactor and steam generator shells for the sixth unit have passed an incoming inspection and are currently in the “initial operations of the manufacturing cycle”, ROSATOM said on Monday.

As part of a framework agreement signed by the Indian government and ROSATOM in 2017 for the fifth and sixth power units at Kudankulam, JSC AEM-Technologies – a part of the machine-building division of ROSATOM – will manufacture and supply two nuclear reactors, two sets of steam generators, reactor coolant pump set bodies, the main circulation piping, emergency core cooling system tanks, passive core flooding system tanks and two pressurisers.

The total weight of the items is almost 6,000 tons. “The reactor is an item of first safety class. It is a vertical cylindrical body with an elliptical bottom. The core and internals are located inside the vessel,” ROSATOM said.

The steam generators are heat exchangers and part of a steam generating unit. Each steam generator has a diameter of more than four metres, its length is about 14 metres, and the weight is 340 tonnes. The first power unit of the Kudankulam plant has been steadily operating at the design capacity level of 1,000 MW since February 2016. The second was included in India’s national electricity grid in August 2016.

The master framework agreement with ROSATOM for the construction of the third and fourth units was signed in 2014, while the engineering division of ROSATOM and India’s Atomic Energy Corporation signed the pact for the third stage with the fifth and sixth power units in June 2017.