The shadow cast by Fukushima seems to fall unevenly across the globe. While in some areas the nuclear industry has been devastated, others carry on as normal. However, all of the hot spots for nuclear construction — China (excluded from this report), Russia, the Arabian peninsula, the Indian subcontinent — lie in the eastern hemisphere. By Thecla Fabian


India is building seven power reactors: four indigenously designed PHWRs at two sites, an indigenously-designed fast breeder reactor, and two 917 MWe Russian-designed and -built VVER-412 PWRs. State-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) will own and operate all of them.

All four PHWRs under construction are 630 MWe units provided by the Indian Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Kakrapar 3 and 4 are expected to begin commercial operation in June and December 2015, respectively, and Rajasthan 7 and 8 in June and December 2016, respectively.

Union Minister V. Narayanasamy said the Russian-supplied VVER-412 at Kudankulam 2 is 95% complete. By February 2014 it was generating power and has been connected to India’s southern grid. It is expected to achieve full commercial operation in December. Its twin, Kudankulam 1, began operation in November 2013 and is supplying 440 MWe to India’s Tamil Nadu state. It is expected to reach full capacity by May 2014.

"Kudankulam 1&2 commercial operation was scheduled to start in late 2006 but progress was slowed by public protests"

Kudankulam 1 and 2 are the largest power generating units in India. The combined cost of the two units rose from $2.17 billion to $2.9 billion over the course of construction. Construction began in 2002 and commercial operation originally was scheduled to
start in late 2006 but progress was slowed by public protests. Russia developed the design documentation and supplied the equipment for the two units, and NPCIL built the units and is responsible for startup and commissioning.

In April 2014, Russia and India reached an agreement for construction of Kudankulam 3 and 4. NPCIL signed the general framework agreement with Russian officials on 14 April.

India’s Prototype FBR is expected to go critical in September 2014 at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu (see also ‘Safety features of the PFBR,’ August 2013, pp. 32-5).

The PFBR is a key component in India’s long-term nuclear development programme, to breed U-233 from its large domestic deposits of thorium. It was designed in the 1990s, at a time when many advanced countries were giving up plans to build FBRs. Construction began in 2004, with commissioning originally scheduled for 2010. The 500 MWe liquid-sodium cooled PFBR is at advanced stage of completion, said Ratan K. Sinha, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. All major equipment had been installed and loading of dummy fuel was in progress by June 2013. Indigenously-developed mixed oxide (MOX) fuel assemblies for the PBFR core are being manufactured and delivered to site. The Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad manufactured the fuel, which was assembled at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research at Kalpakkam. Prabhat Kumar, chairman and managing director of Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam, which is building the reactor, said PFBR would go critical in September 2014 and would begin supplying electricity to the southern grid by the first half of 2015.

India plans to build two more 500 MWe PFBRs at Kalpakkam and a fourth at a yet-to- be-determined location.

South Korea

South Korea has five power reactors under construction at three sites. Four are 1400 MWe Advanced PWRs (APR-1400s): Shin Hanul 1 and 2, and Shin Kori 3 and 4. One, Shin Wolsong 2, is a 960 MWe Optimised Power Reactor (OPR-1000), the rebranded version of the Korean Standard NPP (KSNP) based on technology from Korea’s original eight PWRs.

Construction of Shin Wolsong 2 has been delayed while owner/operator Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company (KHNP) replaces counterfeit safety-related electrical cable. The government authorised construction of Shin Wolsong 2 in 2005, and first concrete was poured in September 2008. Daewoo, Samsung and GS E&C Corporation are the major contractors. Commercial operation was due to begin in late 2012. However, in late 2012 Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission (NSSC) began investigating the first of several incidents in which KHNP had allegedly been supplied with falsely certified equipment, including electrical cable. The counterfeit equipment was used in at least five KHNP units, including Shin Wolsong 2. KHNP has removed and replaced the suspect cable, but must wait for NSSC approval to commission the unit and begin commercial operation. The latest projections say commercial operation could begin in July 2014.

"Shin Wolsong 2 construction has been delayed by counterfeit safety-related electrical cable"

Shin Hanul 1 and 2 (formerly Shin Ulchin) are in North Gyeongsang province. The government approved the $6 billion project to build two units in April 2009. First concrete was poured at unit 1 in July 2012 and at unit 2 in June 2013. Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction is the main construction contractor. The main construction support contractors are Hyundai Engineering & Construction, SK Engineering & Construction, and GS E&C Corporation.

On 30 April the reactor vessel was installed at unit 1. It should be completed in April 2017 and unit 2 about a year later. Two more APR- 1400 units are planned for the site.

The APR-1400 is a Generation III two-loop PWR with a gross capacity of 1400 MWe. Based on KNSP, it is the first to use Korean- made components for all critical systems.

The first two APR-1400s to begin construction were KHNP’s Shin Kori 3 and 4, at the Kori Nuclear Power Complex in Busan. Construction began at unit 3 in October 2008 and unit 4 in August 2009. The units were scheduled to start commercial operations in August and September 2014 but the start dates were pushed back to 2015 and 2016 after safety-related cabling failed quality tests. KHNP is replacing the cabling with cables from an undisclosed US supplier.

In January 2014, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced approval of a plan to build two more APR- 1400s, Shin Kori 5 and 6, at a cost of $7.1 billion. Construction is set to begin at unit 5 in September 2014 and at unit 6 six months to a year later, with commercial operation in 2019 and 2020.


At the time of the Fukushima accident in March 2011, Japan had two power reactors under construction, both 1325 MWe Hitachi- GE ABWRs.

Shimane 3 originally was scheduled to enter commercial operation in December 2011. However, in February 2011 startup was delayed to March 2012 because of problems with the control rod drives, which had to be returned to the manufacturer for modification and cleaning. Work was suspended indefinitely after Fukushima.

Utility Chugoku Electric Power Company completed building a 15m-high sea wall around Shimane 3 in January 2012, and then extended the seawall to a length of 1.5km to protect the two operating units. Chugoku said it plans to apply for a safety assessment that would allow it to begin operating Shimane 3 in 2014, but as of April 2014 work had not resumed.

"Construction of Ohma 1 restarted in October 2012 and continues on civil structures and M&E elements unaffected by new safety measures"

Japan Electric Power Development Corporation restarted work on its 40% complete Ohma 1 — its first nuclear reactor — in October 2012, making the project in Aomori prefecture the first to resume in the wake of Fukushima. Since resuming work, J-Power has lifted the steel liner plate of the reactor containment vessel into place. J-Power is advancing construction that is not affected by the new safety measures, a J-Power spokesman told this magazine in April 2014. This includes building, mechanical and electrical, and civil works for water intake and discharge facilities. Construction progress has not been calculated because the construction schedule is still to be decided. J-Power says it has taken various measures to enhance safety post-Fukushima at Ohma, including a range of anti-tsunami actions, ensuring emergency power sources to prevent station blackouts, emergency heat removal functions and improving severe accident response.

Ohma will be the first Japanese reactor to burn all mixed uranium-plutonium oxide fuel (MOX). Initially, MOX load will not exceed a third of the core, gradually increasing until it reaches 100%. J-Power says this has necessitated some design changes from the standard ABWR. These include a higher- capacity liquid control injection system, additional steam-release safety valves, control rods with enhanced neutron absorption and automatic fuel inspection monitors to reduce worker radiation exposure.

Ohma’s schedule has been further complicated by a local lawsuit. In April 2014, the city government of neighbouring Hakodate sued both J-Power and the central government in Tokyo District Court to block construction on evacuation safety grounds.


The 185t, 9m diameter dome on unit 4 of Pakistan’s Chashma plant was set into position 72 days ahead of schedule in early January. CHASNUPP 4 is one of two 340 MWe Chinese-designed PWRs being built at the site. Two 300MWe Chinese-designed PWRs already operate there.

CHASNUPP 3 and 4 are being built through a joint venture between China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and the state- owned Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). China Zhongyuan Engineering is the general contractor. Shanghai Nuclear Engineering & Research Design Institute provided the reactor designs.

Construction began on CHASNUPP 3 in May 2011 and on CHASNUPP 4 in December 2011. The new units will begin commercial operation in December 2016 and October 2017, respectively.

PAEC also owns and operates Chashma 1 and 2 and one other power reactor, a 125MWe PHWR in southern Karachi (KANUPP).

In 2013, Pakistan signed a $9 billion agreement with China for two advanced Chinese APC1000 reactors for Karachi as part of the Karachi Coastal Nuclear Power Project. Pakistan’s top level Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved funding in July 2013. In December 2013, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the two-unit plant would be rated at 2117 MWe. Construction is expected to take seven years. This will be China’s first international sale of the APC1000, and CNNC has agreed to a turnkey contract.

PAEC hopes to generate 8000 MWe from nuclear power by 2030. India and the US have objected to Pakistan’s nuclear plans, saying they violate the terms of the 46-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Pakistan and China deny this, saying that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is supervising China-Pakistan nuclear cooperation and has ensured that it is in ‘strict accordance’ with international norms.

Pakistan’s power reactors are owned and operated under item-specific international safeguards. Pakistan has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and is largely excluded from the world market in nuclear materials and technology due to the absence of comprehensive safeguards. However, China has a long-standing bilateral agreement with Pakistan to support its nuclear development.