Kudankulam-2 Connected to the Indian Grid
WNISR, 29 August 2016
On 29 August 2016, the second unit of Kudankulam was connected to the grid in India. The reactor had attained criticality on 10 July 2016, eight years later than planned when construction started. Kudankulam is a twin VVER-1000 nuclear power plant imported from Russia. The first unit started operating in October 2013 (see WNISR, "Controversial Reactor Starts Operation at Kudankulam in India").
Kudankulam is one of those nuclear projects that have been in the planning or construction stages for decades, and that drew large-scale citizen opposition.
Plans for importing reactors from Russia date back to the late 1970s, with a specific agreement for reactors to be constructed in Kudankulam signed in November 1988 by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President Mikhail Gorbachev. The project was revived in 1997, this time by Prime Minister Deve Gowda and President Boris Yeltsin.
Ground breaking for the reactor was conducted in September 2001 and the official construction start with the concreting of the base slab of the reactor building was carried out in September 2002; at that time Kudankulam-2 was to have been commissioned in December 2008. The reactor has been delayed numerous times, with first criticality promised for, inter alia, August 2009, October 2011, March 2014, and August 2015.