WWER-1200 reactor. Source: Hullernuc
WWER-1200 reactor. Source: Hullernuc

CHENNAI: The VVER 1200 reactor that Russia would supply to India is rated higher than the reactors that India has bought and is planning to buy, a senior official of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) said on Tuesday.

In a statement after talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin had said: “We have agreed on India’s assigning another plot for the construction of Russian power units, where we intend to use the latest WWER-1200 reactors built with the application of the latest and safest technologies.”

The WWER-1200 reactor is also known as VVER 1200 reactor.

“The VVER-1200 reactors are said to be the upgraded and up-rated version of VVER-1000 reactors,” the NPCIL official told IANS preferring anonymity on Tuesday.

He said the VVER-1200 reactor has a rated capacity of 1,200 MW.

Russia is setting up two VVER-1200 reactors at its Novovoronezh nuclear power plant complex and at two other locations.

Officials at the Novovoronezh nuclear plant complex told IANS the VVER-1200 units will use 163 fuel assembly bundles similar to the VVER-1000 model.

However, the fuel weight and the length of the fuel assembly would be longer than what is being used in VVER-1000 model, the officials said.

According to Russian nuclear power sector officials, once the first unit goes on stream, it will be the largest unit functioning in the country.

The Novovoronezh plant director told visiting international journalists in June that the average investment per kwh of the unit will be around $3,000.

But this will not be the reference cost point for foreign clients. The cost for foreign clients will be much less, around $2,500 per kwh, the official said.

Meanwhile, NPCIL is gearing up to restart the Russia-made 1,000 MW unit sometime next month.

“We have closed the reactor after refuelling. Now we have to do some tests and hopeful of restarting the unit sometime during the middle of January 2016,” a senior NPCIL official told IANS.