The first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is likely to be connected to the grid by the end of August as Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has given its nod to increase power generation by 50 per cent upto 500 MW, a senior KNPP official said on Friday.
“We got AERB clearance for increasing power generation levels upto 500 MW on Thursday. We will most likely connect the unit to the grid by this month-end”, KNPP Site Director R.S. Sundar said.
It is an ongoing process, he said, adding that the unit has to apply again for clearance for reaching 750 MW, 900 MW and full 1,000 MW bookmark.
“Right now we have already started work for 750 MW mark. Once we are done with the tests, we will apply to the AERB for its clearance”, he said.
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is constructing two 1,000 MW units at KNPP jointly with Russia at Kudankulam in Tiruneveli district, some 650 km from Chennai.
The unit attained criticality in July this year after much delay, following protests against the project by anti—nuclear activists in areas around the complex, citing safety reasons.
Sundar also referred to Union Power Minister’s recent reply in Lok Sabha that Tamil Nadu has been allocated another 100 MW, in addition to its share of 925 MW from both units.
“Earlier, Tamil Nadu’s share was 925 MW divided by two, that is 462 point something. But now with the Union Minister’s statement in Parliament, you can add another 100 MW to Tamil Nadu’s account,” he said.
Meanwhile an AERB statement said KNPP’s application to raise reactor power upto 50 per cent along with review reports were discussed at the Advisory Committee for Project Safety Review meeting and given clearance, subject to compliance with various stipulations.
AERB Chairman S.S. Bajaj said the Board had earlier granted clearance for the first approach to criticality and Phase-B Low Power Physics Experiments for Unit 1.
He said the Committee for Reviewing Security Aspects of Nuclear Facilities reviewed nuclear security aspects of KNPP for Phase C1 stage and submitted the recommendations, based on which the clearance was granted.