Chennai: India`s atomic power plant operator, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), has again shifted the commissioning of the first unit at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) to the next month, instead of end June.
According to NPCIL`s website, the first unit with a 1,000 MW capacity will be commissioned July and not this month.
The physical progress of the project has seen very marginal progress between May and June from 99.66 percent to 99.67 percent.
The removal of the dummy fuel from the reactor in June 2012 was the last major activity relating to the first unit as per NPCIL`s website.
At the peak of the people`s protest last year against the project, NPCIL officials used to say the company would earn around Rs 3 crore per day if the unit was commissioned.
Soon after the Supreme Court gave its nod to the project on May 06, NPCIL officials were confident of getting the necessary regulatory clearances from Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and commissioning the plant by the end of June.
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.