A senior official of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited on Wednesday expressed confidence that the situation at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant could change within the next four to six weeks, paving the way for its commissioning in August.
“I expect that in four to six weeks, things would come to normal’’, he said, speaking to newspersons in New Delhi on the sidelines of an international symposium organised by the World Nuclear Association.
He also noted that once the issues are resolved it would require another four months of work to commission the first unit of the 2X1000 MW plant.
The prospects, he said, has brightened following the setting up of a four-member team by Tamil Nadu Government to look into the concerns of the local people.
The NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors with Russian collaboration at Kudankulam. The first unit was earlier scheduled to be commissioned in December. But the work got stopped following an agitation by villagers near the plant on safety grounds.
Taking up the cause of the villagers, the State Government had passed a resolution in the Assembly asking the Centre to stop work till all their apprehensions were fully allayed.
Asked about the latest visit to the site by a two-member team from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the official noted that it was a routine inspection of fuel stored for the plant.
Pointing out that fuel for the plant had been bought from Russia under IAEA safeguard agreement, he said the officials carried out a routine inspection to ensure that it was not diverted for any other purpose other than for power generation.
The officials visited the fuel storage room and crosschecked the fuel inventory kept in a sealed box. Among other things, they checked the memory cards of the surveillance cameras that have been set up along the entire route from the storage room to the reactor as per IAEA regulation.
The cameras have to be operational round the clock and if any of them become dysfunctional, the matter has to be reported to the IAEA and records have to be maintained on the reason for failure. The inspectors checked the memory cards to see whether there was any black out, he said.