The Rs. 14,000-crore nuclear power project at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu is likely to be commissioned on August 25 if the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) gives its nod for a trial-run by this month-end.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) V. Narayanasamy told The Hindu on Tuesday August 25 was fixed tentatively for commissioning the 1,000-MW first unit, as the AERB’s clearance for a trial-run was in the final stages.

“Once it is obtained, a trial-run by loading the real fuel — enriched uranium — will go on for about 15-20 days and thereafter the actual synchronisation of power with the national grid will take place in stages once criticality is reached,” he said.

But for a two-month delay by the AERB, owing to a very long inspection of the pressure vessels and other equipment, in giving the clearance, the plant would have been commissioned by June itself.

The AERB had suggested the removal of humidity from the Russian-made pressure vessel and it was complied with, Mr. Narayanasamy said.

The Minister indicated there could be a formal inaugural function for dedication of the plant, built with Russian help, to the nation.

Unit-I was expected to start in December 2011 but the progress was stalled owing to safety concerns raised by protesters.