Kudankulam crew replaced as protest haltsOctober 17th, 2011 - 1:41 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Oct 17 (IANS) India’s nuclear power plant operator NPCIL has replaced its tired and besiged 50-member crew at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu with a fresh set of people after those protesting against nuclear power called off their stir.
“We replaced the old crew with a fresh set of people Sunday night. The new people will be replaced in the evening. There are no more problems with regard to supplies of essential items into the complex,” Kashinath Balaji, project director, told IANS from Kudankulam, around 650 km from here.
As a result of the blockade by the protestors, some of who were on hunger strike, nobody from outside was able to enter the project site since Oct 13.
People’s Rights Movement coordinator S. Sivasubramanian had Sunday called off the protest temporarily so that people could vote in the local civic polls Monday.
NPCIL, or Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd, is building two 1,000 MW capacity nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam with an outlay of around Rs.13,000 crore.
The first unit is expected to go on stream in December.
“The desalination water plant, reactor cooling water system, electronics and electrical systems have to be operated,” an NPCIL official said on condition of anonymity.
He said the state buses had started plying Monday. The buses were stopped for fear of violence in recent days.
Anti-nuclear activists blocked the entry points to the power plant Oct 13 saying the central government was not concerned about the life of 106 fasting protesters and demanded the scrapping of the project.
Maintenance work at the first reactor was carried out with skeletal staff. The first 1,000-MW reactor has completed what is called a “hot run” - trial run of the reactor with dummy fuel — to check all the reactor systems, including steam generation.
According to NPCIL chairman and managing director S.K. Jain, the work connected to the commissioning of the first unit was going on round-the-clock with additional hands from Russia.
“There are around 150 Russians, 800 of our own staff and around 4,000 contract labourers,” he told IANS earlier.
KNPP officials said they were watching the situation as the protestors have said they would resume their hunger strike Tuesday at Idinthakarai near Kudankulam and the plant blockade if employees go inside to work.
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- Major pre-fuel loading exercise over at Kudankulam - Sep 12, 2012
- Fed up of 'house arrest', Kudankulam officials reach office - Oct 24, 2011
- Kudankulam relay fast enters second day - Oct 19, 2011
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Tags: civic polls, cooling water system, desalination water, hot run, hunger strike, india ltd, member crew, npcil, nuclear activists, nuclear power plant, nuclear power project, nuclear power reactors, power plant operator, project maintenance, reactor systems, russian technology, skeletal staff, state buses, steam generation, system electronics