Kudankulam n-plant decision now lies with regulator

Chennai, May 6 (IANS) With the apex court giving its nod Monday for the first 1,000 MW unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), it is now for the regulatory board to give its sanction to operationalise it, an official said.

The ball is now in the court of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to give its sanction to operationalise the first unit of KNPP near here, said the official of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL).

“The apex court’s verdict is good news for us. Now everything is going in a positive direction. We have completed all the pre-commissioning tests for the first unit and reports have been submitted to the AERB,” the official told IANS, preferring anonymity.

Hoping that the AERB would communicate its views on the test results sometime next week, the official said: “Technically the results of the tests are positive and confirm to the design specifications. But there may be some professional divergence of views. We hope all the things will be sorted out soon.”

India’s nuclear power plant operator NPCIL is setting up the project in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai, with two Russian-made 1,000-MW (mega watt) each reactors.

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 People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) is spearheading the protest against the project for the past 630 days.

Earlier, the Supreme Court Monday disposed of a public suit seeking to halt its commissioning with a direction to the government to submit a report on the compliance of all safety steps before the plant is commissioned.

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