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Updated: January 6, 2013 01:11 IST

Kudankulam unit to be commissioned in 2 weeks: AEC

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One of the reactor building at Kudankulam Nuclear Power project. The project is set to be commissioned within the next two weeks as nuclear scientists have entered the final lap of a series of tests on its safety and efficacy. File photo
The Hindu
One of the reactor building at Kudankulam Nuclear Power project. The project is set to be commissioned within the next two weeks as nuclear scientists have entered the final lap of a series of tests on its safety and efficacy. File photo

The much-delayed Kudankulam project is set to be commissioned within the next two weeks as nuclear scientists have entered the final lap of a series of tests on its safety and efficacy.

“Within this month 100 per cent. It will take about two weeks,” Ratan Kumar Sinha, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission told PTI in Kolkata on the sidelines of the 100th Indian Science Congress when asked about the commissioning of the first 1,000 MW unit of the project.

Mr. Sinha said all possible care was being taken to see that all the processes are followed precisely.

“They (engineers at Kudankulam) have done the hot pressurisation based on certain observations. They want to be very sure that all the processes are perfect,” Mr. Sinha said.

India is building two 1,000 MW nuclear power plants at Kudankulam with Russian collaboration.

Talks are on with Russia for building more reactors at the site which can accommodate six units.

Last month, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) had granted permission for the ‘second heat up’, under which all systems of the entire nuclear power plant will be put to test to demonstrate its operability and safety.

Under the second heat up, various systems of the nuclear reactor are being put through performance tests.

Following these tests, AERB would evaluate the reports of the tests and then give the go-ahead to first approach to criticality, AERB Chairman S.S. Bajaj had said.

After the reactor goes critical, power generation would be stepped up gradually and after it reaches a certain level, the plant would be connected to the grid.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is developing two 1,000 MW nuclear power units at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

AERB had granted permission to load fuel in the first unit of the nuclear power project on August 10 after NPCIL complied with all the conditions laid by it.

A specially-designed robotic arm then began loading 163 bundles of enriched uranium fuel on September 18 and the process was completed on October 2.

Commissioning of the first unit was originally scheduled for December 2011 but had to be put off due to protests.

Congratulations to all at KKNPP!

from:  Roy M. Ramavarapu
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 16:20 IST

It's a misconception that Nuclear energy is the alternative to our
energy crisis. Even developed countries like USA and Japan have not
been taking great interest in increasing the installed capacity of
Nuclear Power, and statistics clearly stand testimony to this fact.

from:  Ashish
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 16:17 IST

My only request to Nuclear Power Corporation - Implement a well developed process for each and every Nuclear power plant in India to shutdown the plant at least for a day and once in an year. This is to demonstrate to public that the staff at every plant are capable of quickly achieving a stable state with nuclear fuel regardless whether the plant is ON or OFF or in a transition cycle.

from:  Hari
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 16:07 IST

While India does have a large gap between energy demand and supply, it is totally
irresponsible to ignore the lessons of the past (2004 tsunami and Fukushima) and
set up a nuclear power plant plumb next to the sea, and that too with our pathetic
safety record in general. It is not that there are no incidents at our nuclear plants,
it is just that they are not reported in the press.

And will these "experts" that have taken the decision to commission the plant be
willing to bear the consequences? I recommend that everyone that has vouched for
the safety of the plant be forced to relocate and live right next to it with their

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 15:43 IST

Every single person harping on about renewable energy and how it's the
panacea for all of India's Energy problems need to ask themselves what
they really know about their so called renewables.

What do you know about the limitations of Renewable Energy? What do you
really know about the technology behind Nuclear Energy? What makes you
think that the mere pretense of awareness about these issues is enough
for you to browbeat the opposition into silence?

If only Indians would scrutinize their own opinions as much as they
scrutinize everything else in India, we would have been much better off
as a nation!

from:  VV Nair
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 15:43 IST

If all concerns addressed, Nuclear energy will be the way forward as it will be the most cleanest and cheapest of all forms of energy.

from:  Suresh Kumar
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 15:36 IST

Mr Mahd Zia, The answer is in the first few words if your comments "You don't understand". Please go through proper cost benefit analysis on the alternate options you have suggested and you will know why as of today for the demands and resources we have, nukes are the only way....the plan should be to have a quicker transition than other countries to explore alternate sources...lets not jump the guns.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 15:28 IST

Primary need for the day is "electricity " . Renewable technology has
huge investment costs and is in developing phase. I have no idea why
people hesitate so much for accepting a technology which can generate
surplus power , give income to the government and especially light to
the people. Nuclear hazards are there but there are always measures
taken where the waste is dumped in a separate dumping site which is
never in the vicinity of people and we cannot judge it just by one
tsunami attacked incident.Moving from "DEVELOPING TO DEVELOPED PHASE"
is important. Let's start with opening this reactor.

from:  prasanth
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 14:53 IST

Supreme court verdict on the safety of the Unit is pending and is due in Jan 2013, right?
Before the verdict is released, how can it be published that the unit will become operational?

from:  Rajlakshmi
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 14:47 IST

I don't understand that why India goes for technology that affects the
health and well being of society. there are more environment friendly,
safer and greener options like solar, wind, tidal energy. Because of
nuclear radiations thousands of people and even their future generations
get affected who are working and living in near by villages and
districts.....for the real picture see documentary war and peace.

from:  Mahd Zia
Posted on: Jan 3, 2013 at 12:46 IST
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