The first unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu is likely to begin generating to its full capacity of 1,000 MW by February end, according to the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, V. Narayanasamy.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, he said the plant is now operating at a capacity of 440 MW. “It would be raised to the full capacity in two phases, first upto 750 MW and then the maximum 1,000 MW by February end. The authorities have already sought the permission of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board to raise it to 750 MW. The Board’s approval should come any time now.”

Developed with Russian assistance, the reactor has been facing some technical snag or the other. After being synchronised with the southern grid in October end, it suddenly stopped functioning in early December following some technical problems. Earlier, during pre-commissioning tests, four valves were found defective and had to be replaced.

As regards the second unit at the nuclear power plant, he said the 95 per cent of the work on it has been completed and it could go into production by September.

Earlier, in a chat with reporters, the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, R.K. Sinha, had emphasised that the authorities were taking extra care with the plant since it was based on a technology which was being introduced in India for the first time, though it had been proven elsewhere.

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