Kudankulam: With Unit-I of controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant expected to go critical on Sunday, three top officials of Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Power Corporation of India on Saturday visited the site and held discussions on the progress in taking it to the First Approach to Criticality (FAC).
AEC Chairman R K Sinha, NPCIL Chairman S C Purohit and its Technical Chairman Nageswara Rao held discussions with NPCIL Executive Director Kasinath Balaji on the progress made after the control rods were lifted to "Boron dilution", marking the preparation of the reactor to generate power, officials said.
They said the controls are being lifted to increase neutron concentration inside the core, where enriched uranium (163 bundles) has already been loaded.
They said it would take about 48 hours for the boron solution to be completely diluted and claimed the plant would positively attain criticality by tomorrow.
The plant would be synchronised with the grid once power generation touches 300 MW, they said and denied reports that AERB had earlier given FAC before the mandatory clearance.
Yesterday, controlled nuclear fission process began at the 1000 MW unit of the Indo-Russian venture.
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board had earlier granted the final permission for `Initial Fuel Loading` in September 2012. Reviews were carried out by specialist groups and the Advisory Committee for Project Safety Review of AERB at the facility.
The project, dogged by delays since December last following protests by locals over safety concerns, was given the go ahead by the Supreme Court on May 6, which said it is safe and there is no basis to say it would have an adverse impact on the environment and people living nearby.
The apex court said nuclear plants are the need of the hour and are required for sustained economic development of the country.