AERB governing body likely to take a final decision

With the Supreme Court removing the obstacles for commissioning the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), the first reactor is likely to go critical any time between May 13 and 20.

Highly placed sources in the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), the project proponent, told The Hindu that a team of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board experts were going through the results of the tests conducted a few days ago and holding discussions on the results with the NPCIL technocrats.

The AERB’s governing body, expected to meet before this weekend, is likely to take a final decision on giving the nod for criticality immediately.

“Subsequently, we will start working on the commissioning of the plant without further delay and hence we expect that the much-awaited moment would come anytime between May 13 and 20. We are eagerly waiting for that moment,” said a top NPCIL official.

Meanwhile, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the anti-KKNPP protests from Idinthakarai near the project site, has decided to convene a meeting of protestors at Idinthakarai on Wednesday evening to decide on the future course of the protest against the upcoming nuclear park in the wake of the Supreme Court verdict clearing the decks for the plant’s commissioning.

On Thursday, community leaders from various coastal hamlets of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari are expected to participate in a meeting, also to be held at Idinthakarai, to discuss the decision arrived at the meeting the previous day.