Kudankulam: Nuclear Corp eyes February fuel loading, protesters miffed (Lead)December 17th, 2011 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, Dec 17 (IANS) A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) would be commissioned soon, nuclear officials Saturday said it could load the real fuel by February while protesters threatened an intensification of their agitation.
“We have submitted most of the test reports after the hot/trial run of the first unit to AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board). The AERB teams are sifting through the reports and, till date, they have not made any adverse comments,” Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) chairman and managing director S.K. Jain told IANS.
He said that going by the current trend, the real fuel loading could be done during the first week of February next.
Queried about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement about commissioning of the first unit, Jain said: “My reading of his statement is that the central government-appointed committee to allay the fears of the local populace has answered all the questions and doubts raised about the safety of the reactors as desired by the cabinet resolution of the Tamil Nadu government. And now the state government should facilitate our project activities.”
On an official visit to Russia, the prime minister Friday said in Moscow that he was “confident that in a couple of weeks we should be able to go ahead in operationalising Kudankulam-I and, thereafter, in a period of six months, the Kudankulam-II”.
Meanwhile the anti-KNPP movement has demanded removal of the real fuel from the project site before Dec 31 failing which their agitation would get intensified from Jan 1 onwards.
According M. Pushparayan, convener of the Coastal People’s Federation and a People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) leader, said a rally of around 10,000 people will be held from the project site to the nearby Radhapuram village to condemn the prime minister and the Russian government.
NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai at an outlay of Rs.13,171 crore.
The first unit was slated to be commissioned in December. However villagers, citing fears for their lives and safety, started their agitation in August and brought all the project-related activities to a standstill.
The central and state governments have formed two panels to allay people’s fears. The state panel has representatives of the PMANE that spearheads the protest against the project.
As per plans, the multi-disciplinary central panel would meet the state panel and explain the safety features and other aspects of the KNPP. The state panel will, in turn, allay the fears of the people.
At the end of third round of meeting Dec 15, the central panel shared a 77-page report with the state panel answering the questions raised by the activists.
According to Jain, though NPCIL has shifted the commercial operation of the first unit to May 2012, the reactor can go operational prior to that if pre-commissioning activities are started in two weeks’ time.
“In one week’s time we can bring all the systems to their optimal levels,” Jain said.
The hot run for the first unit was completed in August 2011. The next stage is permission for opening of pressure vessel, removal of dummy fuel and in-service inspection of vessels and piping.
The first unit has attained physical progress of 99.2 percent and the second unit 94.6 percent as on November 2011.
- Fuel loading in Kudankulam reactor possible by February: Nuclear Corp - Dec 17, 2011
- AERB clears fuel loading in Kudankulam nuclear reactor - Aug 10, 2012
- Kudankulam n-plant a step closer to going on stream - May 12, 2012
- Kudankulam's first unit to be ready for fuel loading soon: NPCIL - Mar 19, 2012
- Kudankulam reactor to be fuelled around Sep 11, protestors to intensify stir - Sep 07, 2012
- Central panel on Kudankulam to meet in three weeks - Dec 03, 2011
- IAEA team inspects Kudankulam plant, protesters announce fast - Feb 20, 2012
- Major pre-fuel loading exercise over at Kudankulam - Sep 12, 2012
- Kudankulam: Central panel deliberates in detail - Nov 16, 2011
- Atomic energy officials hold talks on Kudankulam n-plant - Nov 04, 2011
- Removal of dummy fuel assemblies begins at Kudankulam - May 25, 2012
- IAEA team completes inspection of Kudankulam plant - Feb 21, 2012
- Work of central panel on Kudankulam over: Convenor - Jan 31, 2012
- Kudankulam parties welcome Jayalalithaa's announcement - Feb 04, 2012
- Activists brief Jayalalithaa on Kudankulam hazards (Lead) - Feb 29, 2012
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