Kudankulam: Efforts on to bring into operation 1st reactor



Chennai: Efforts were on to bring into operation the first reactor at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant "as quickly as possible," Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee on Saturday said, noting the Centre was "as concerned" as anyone about providing power to Tamil Nadu.

"You all will appreciate that we are as concerned as all of you to provide power from Kudankulam to Tamil Nadu and also to other states," he said.

"As quickly as possible we can bring it in operation. It also requires the approval of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)" he told reporters at the airport here.

In an apparent reference to the demand by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for allocation of entire power to be produced from the Indo-Russian joint venture to the power shortage-hit state, he said the quantum of power cannot be decided by the Department of Atomic Energy or Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).

The demand was under the consideration of the Central government, he said.

"Power requirement in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states is very high. So it is extremelty important for us to bring Kudankulam into operation. We have to produce the energy and feed it to the grid," he said.

Banerjee said the pressure cap vessel will be opened in the coming days and inspection done by robotic mechanism and this report would be sent to the AERB.

Permission would be sought to take out dummy fuel and put actual fuel and subsequently the nod to approach to criticality, Banerjee said.

"Our target is not just one. The second reactor will come by six months and the distribution depends on various technical factors," he added.

To a question on Kalpakkam nuclear power plant, he said the Fast Breeder Reactor, "a completely new reactor and sophisticated technology," was coming up.

"We are hopeful that the mechanical construction will be over by this year and the fuel-loading part by mid-next year. It is a completely new reactor and sophisticated technology. So we are going slow with maximum importance for safety," he said about the 500 MW plant.

PTI