A recent maritime incident at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, India, brought attention to the construction of the 5th and 6th nuclear reactors at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station. A tugboat, tasked with transporting crucial steam engines for these reactors, ran aground, leading to a collaborative effort to ensure the safe delivery of these vital components.

Kudankulam is a significant hub for nuclear power generation in India, with the 1st and 2nd nuclear reactors already operational, each boasting a capacity of 1,000 MW. The construction of reactors 3 and 4 is well underway, standing at an impressive 85 percent completion rate. Simultaneously, work on reactors 5 and 6 is in full swing, with key equipment sourced from Russia.

The incident in question involved the transport of two generators, each weighing a substantial 300 tons, from Russia to Tuticorin port. From there, these generators were destined for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Station, carried via sea transport with the assistance of a tugboat.

As the tugboat ventured into the small harbor within the Bay of Bengal waters, where the nuclear power plant is situated, it encountered unexpected challenges. A sudden increase in wind speed posed a challenge, causing a strain on the moorings that typically secure the vessel to the shore through ropes. This strain led to a critical issue where the rope eventually snapped, resulting in the tugboat running aground.

Upon discovering the situation, the management of the nuclear power plant swiftly initiated a response, engaging the services of the Coast Guard and various contractors involved in the project. The vessel found itself approximately 1 kilometer from the small port area of the nuclear power plant.

Sources at the nuclear power plant have reported that the tugboat is currently lodged on rocky shoals at a distance from the harbor. Efforts are ongoing to carefully maneuver and guide the vessel back to the small harbor of the nuclear power plant. The successful resolution of this incident is of paramount importance to ensure the timely and safe delivery of the steam engines required for the construction of the 5th and 6th nuclear reactors at Kudankulam.