Kudankulam nuclear plant to restart in January: AEC chief

| Friday, December 18, 2015 - 19:07
First Published |
Kudankulam nuclear plant

The plant will restart its first 1,000 MW unit in January

Chennai: Atomic power operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in all certainty will restart its first 1,000 MW unit at Kudankulam in January, said India's atomic sector regulator chief on Friday.

"The unit will restart in January in all certainty. The loading of the fuel in the reactor is over," said Atomic Energy Commission chairman Sekhar Basu.

Here to visit the nuclear facilities located at Kalpakkam, around 70 km from here, he said that once the fuel is loaded into the reactor, than there will not be any other major issue to be tackled.

The unit was shut down in June this year for annual maintenance and change of some fuel pins.

The NPCIL, at an outlay of around Rs 17,000 crore, is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, 650 km from Chennai.

The first unit attained criticality, which is the beginning of the fission process, in July 2013. Subsequently it was connected to the southern grid in October 2013. However, commercial power generation began only December 31, 2014.

Operating at full capacity, the unit supplies power to Tamil Nadu (562.5 MW), Puducherry (33.5 MW), Kerala (133 MW), Karnataka (221 MW) and Andhra Pradesh (50 MW).

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Why so long?

Why is everything taking so long? Aren't the managers aware of the amount of money spent on the reactor by India? Why does the atomic establishment take forever to approve every step? Are the approves not in Kudankulam? If they are not they should use video link facilities and latest communication methods to hasten the process. We should not delay approvals because of holidays and festivals. We have way too many of those in India. Everyday that goes by without the plant generating electricity is a day that adds suffering to millions of potential consumers of electricity from the plant.

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