Kudankulam n-plant a step closer to going on streamMay 12th, 2012 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, May 12 (IANS) The first unit of the protest-hit nuclear power project at Kudankulam is about to be commissioned. Officials have initiated the process to remove its dummy fuel.
The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) moved closer to going on stream as officials began the process to open the reactor’s pressure vessel, its inspection and removal of dummy fuel.
“We got the permission from the AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) chairman May 10 and have started the process like removing the control rod drive assembly. It will take at least one week for us to take out the dummy fuel,” R.S. Sundar, site director of the KNPP, told IANS over phone.
Dummy fuel is similar to the real fuel in terms of specifications but without enriched uranium.
Sundar said a Croatian team belonging to HRID Ltd will inspect the reactor pressure vessel and other systems.
“A task force team from AERB and team from NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd) will also be here while the inspection of the reactor pressure vessel is on,” Sundar added.
NPCIL, India’s nuclear reactor operator, had sent its application to AERB for opening the reactor pressure vessel and the removal of dummy fuel in March and an application for loading the real fuel has also been submitted to the sectoral regulator.
The AERB will study the inspection reports before giving its nod for loading the fuel.
NPCIL chairman and managing director S.K. Jain told IANS that the real fuel loading process will be completed by May or June.
NPCIL is setting up two 1,000 MW lightwater reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here.
The first unit was to become operational last December but hit a hurdle when residents of surrounding villages opposed the project fearing for their lives and the state government passed a resolution urging the central government to stop all project related works.
To resolve the issue, the central and state governments set up two panels.
The central panel submitted its final report Jan 31. The Tamil Nadu government set up an expert committee, which too favoured the project.
In March this year, the state government gave its green signal to the project and also announced Rs.500 crore for local area and infrastructure development. Following that, work at KNPP was restarted.
The anti-KNPP agitators under the banner of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) have demanded safety drills for locals before commissioning of the reactor.
Jain said there are three types of safety drills that are conducted prior to loading the nuclear fuel — Plant emergency, site emergency and off-site emergency.
The first two of these drills have been completed, the official said.
“The plant emergency is declared if any system malfunctions. Under this drill, all the plant personnel are required to assemble at a designated place if a warning is sounded.”
“The second drill is site emergency that applies to all those present within 1.6 km radius of theplant. They too have to assemble at a designated place on hearing a warning sound in case of an emergency,” he said.
The off-site emergency drill is conducted by district administration officials.
“We have trained the district administration officials on safety drills such as traffic diversion and informing the people about how to react in an emergency. Training on evacuating people and handling other emergency situations will be done before the reactor goes critical,” Jain said.
- Removal of dummy fuel assemblies begins at Kudankulam - May 25, 2012
- Reactor pressure vessel inspected at Kudankulam - Jun 30, 2012
- Kudankulam plant fuelling may get nod by next week - Apr 28, 2012
- Work at Kudankulam quickens for first reactor - Apr 07, 2012
- Emergency safety drill held in Kudankulam - Jun 09, 2012
- Kudankulam plant to start commercial operations in August - May 18, 2012
- Dusting, housekeeping major initial job at Kundankulam - Mar 21, 2012
- Major pre-fuel loading exercise over at Kudankulam - Sep 12, 2012
- Kudankulam inspections on after removal of dummy fuel - Jun 04, 2012
- Crucial NPCIL-atomic energy regulator meet Aug 3 - Jul 28, 2012
- Change of guard at Kudankulam N-plant - Apr 30, 2012
- NPCIL inspection at Kudankulam to end soon - Jul 14, 2012
- Fuel loading in Kudankulam reactor possible by February: Nuclear Corp - Dec 17, 2011
- Kudankulam project gets Madras High Court's green signal (Lead) - Aug 31, 2012
- Kudankulam's first unit to be ready for fuel loading soon: NPCIL - Mar 19, 2012
Tags: atomic energy regulatory board, board chairman, central government, croatian team, drive assembly, fuel loading, hrid, hurdle, india ltd, kudankulam, npcil, nuclear power corporation, nuclear power project, nuclear reactor, reactor operator, reactor pressure vessel, related works, s k jain, state governments, sundar