Kudankulam plant to start operation this month



New Delhi: The first unit of the much-delayed Kudankulam nuclear power project is expected to start operation later in May, the Rajya Sabha was told on Thursday.

"The first unit of the Kudankulam project is expected to start operation this month after receipt of stage-wise clearances from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)," Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy told the Rajya Sabha.

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW VVER nuclear power units with Russian collaboration at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

The Centre has allocated 925 MW power from the two units to Tamil Nadu, 442 MW to Karnataka, 266 MW to Kerala, 67 MW to Puducherry and 300 MW has been marked as unallocated.

An additional 100 MW was allocated to Tamil Nadu following a request from Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

The commissioning of the first unit of the project had figured in the bilateral talks External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in Moscow on Monday.

Khurshid conveyed to the Russian side that the first unit of the Kudankulam power project was at sub-critical stage and was expected to be commissioned "any day" in May.

He also assured the Russians of speeding up work on the second unit which was 93 per cent complete.

The two sides also discussed to conclude expeditiously the negotiations on the techno-commercial offer for the construction of Units 3&4 of the project.

Recently the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) cleared the administrative and financial sanction for Units 3&4 at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore.

In July 2012, the protocol for state credits for the construction of Kudankulam Units 3&4 was signed in July 2012.

Russia agreed to extend export credit amounting to USD 3.4 billion.

PTI