Further delay in commissioning Kudankulam N-plant

Chennai, May 14 (IANS) India’s atomic power plant operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has shifted the commissioning of the first 1,000 MW unit at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) to June 2013.

According to NPCIL’s website, the first unit, whose physical progress is at 99.66 percent, will be commissioned next month, not in May as earlier announced.

Soon after the Supreme Court gave its nod to the project May 6, NPCIL officials were confident of getting the necessary regulatory clearances from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and commissioning the plant by the end of this month.

The NPCIL is setting up the project in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district around 650 km from Chennai, with two Russian-made reactors of generating capacity 1,000-MW each.

Fearing for their safety in the wake of nuclear plant accident in Fukushima in Japan, villagers in the vicinity under the banner of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) are opposing the project.

The KNPP is an outcome of the inter-governmental agreement between India and erstwhile Soviet Union in 1988. However, construction only began in 2001.

The project majorly suffered delays due non-sequential supplies of components from Russian vendors.

Originally the scheduled date of commercial operation was December 2007.

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