Vouching for the safety of the Russian technology running the reactor at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, an envoy on Tuesday said the first reactor would begin commercial production in December. The 1,000-MW reactor, which attained criticality on July 13, was synchronised with the southern regional power grid on October 22.
Addressing reporters at the M.A.M. College of Engineering and Technology at Siruganur near here on Tuesday, Nikolay A. Listopadov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Southern India, said the second unit would attain criticality next year and start production subsequently. Mr. Listopadov was confident that contracts for the third and fourth units of the KKNPP would be firmed up shortly, as has assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The Consul General claimed the Russian technology provided for the KKNPP reactors was the safest in the world and showing good results in China. That was why opposition to the KKNPP “is not that active”, Mr. Listopadov observed.
He said the Russian reactors would be installed in two more nuclear power projects besides the one sanctioned for West Bengal’s Haripur.
KKNPP scientists had, within hours of the plant being synchronised with the southern grid, shut down the turbine. Describing this stoppage as “quite normal”, Mr. Listopadov said the action was in conformity to existing procedures and did not amount to a delay in the reactor’s progress towards commercial production.
The Consul General congratulated scientists of the Indian Space Research Organisation for the successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission and said the lift-off of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C25) meant that India was progressing rapidly in the area of space technology.
The Russian Federation, he said, closely cooperated with India during the preparations ahead of the mission’s launch.