SOCHI: The transfer of technology for the third and fourth units of India’s Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant would start by the end of this year, said Nikipelov Andrey, CEO of Atomenergomash, the technical wing of Rosatom, the State Nuclear Energy Corporation of Russia.

Talking to TOI on the sidelines of the 10th edition of AtomExpo 2018 in Sochi, Andrey was hopeful that Rosatom would also formalize its contract with India for the 5th and 6th units of Kudankulam project in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. While Rosatom is supplying equipment and fuels for the project, it is being developed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).

Kudankulam-1 and 2 – each with 1000 MW capacity -- started operation in 2014 and 2016 respectively while its third and fourth units are likely to get functional by 2021. All the six units of Kudankulam plant have production life of 60 years, which could be expanded by another 20 years. The two functional units supply power at the rate of about Rs 3.89 per unit.

“While the technology transfer for Kudankulam-3 is likely to start by the end of this year, we are hopeful of finishing it for Kudankulam-4 by the end of 2019. With that, we would be done with our part of commitment for these two units,” Adrey said. “Besides, in 2018, we are hopeful of signing agreement for at least eight power units – besides Kudankulam-5 and 6, there are four units in Egypt and four in Hungry,” he added.

When asked about the delay in the first two units of Kudankulam – the agreement between India and Russia was signed in 1998 and production started in 2014 -- Nikipelov said that such prestigious and big projects require special relationship and greater understanding between the two countries. “Now, everything is sorted out and we are hopeful of deliveries on time,” he added.

Earlier on Monday morning, the 10th International Forum ATOMEXPO 2018 started at the premises of the Main Media Centre with a promise to keep working on greater safety and sustainability of nuclear power. Over 3000 delegates from 66 countries are taking part in the annual jamboree on atomic energy.

Speaking on the occasion, Aleksei Likhachev, director general of Rosatom, said: “Our forum reflects a constantly growing interest in the nuclear energy industry, which is the most important and integral part of the green power generation. The main topic of the forum is “Global Partnership — Joint Success. And it is true so because collaboration, cooperation, establishing long-term partnership relations enable us all to develop and move forward together while strengthening the ground for the green power generation,” adding “The goal of the forum is “to make a new bold step forward in terms of development of all of the nuclear competences in the global nuclear industry”.

Emphasizing on the importance of AtomExpo, IAEA director general Yukiya Amano also underlined the the significant role Russia has played in the development of the world nuclear industry. "I have seen with my own eyes Russian industry being developed, new power units and accelerators being built. It is important for the IAEA to support the development of the nuclear industry, especially the efforts of the newcomers.”

Yukiya Amano, director general of International Atomic Energy Agency; William D Magwood IV, director general, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA); Agneta Rising, director general of World Nuclear Association (WNA); Jacques Regaldo, chair of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and Dmitry Mezentsev, chair of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Committee on Economic Policy were also present at the opening ceremony.

Over the next three days, the forum will discuss the formats of partnerships in the nuclear sphere, environmental problems and emergence of new centres for nuclear energy growth. Having exorcised the ghost of Fukushima disaster, the nuclear power sector – now on a runaway growth path -- would also discuss problems of new high-tech technologies development and security issues.