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First Russian-Designed N-Reactor Launch Delayed

npcilThe launch of the first reactor of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant which was being built on a Russian design in India, has been postponed from December 2009 to 2010, a senior Indian nuclear official said.

Chairman and Managing Director of Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) S. K. Jain, said recently that the delay was due to the need to make amendments to the project, along with a lack of equipment supplies from Russia.

He said Russia had yet to supply 600 tonnes of pipelines as well as various fixtures, with some equipment expected to arrive in November and some not till the first quarter of 2010.

Jain said inserting the fuel as early as December will be impossible, and is uncertain that the first reactor can be ready in the first quarter of next year. However, he said his company will try to give an exact date shortly.

The power plant is being built under a Russian design, using Russian technology and expertise, with Indian companies engaged in the construction and mounting work.

Under a December 2008, agreement with New Delhi, Russia is to build an additional four reactors for the plant, where it is finishing two reactors under an earlier contract, and start construction of new nuclear plants.