Kudankulam to begin generating electricity
India’s controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will become operational next month after a delay of nearly five years and US$484 million over budget.
Kudankulam has been repeatedly set back by a number of factors, the latest of which were the non-availability of equipment from Russia and sustained anti-nuclear protests from nearby residents and anti-nuclear activists.
"We expect the first unit to be commissioned by September," said Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Ratan Kumar Sinha.
The second reactor is expected to become operational six months from September. Sinha also said they expect to load fuel assemblies into the first reactor in mid-August. Each Russian-made reactor is capable of generating 1,000 MW.
He said the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board was inspecting the first reactor’s pressure vessel after which it would grant permission to load 163 uranium fuel assemblies.
According to the original plan, the first reactor was to have been commissioned in December 2007, a deadline that was later moved to mid-2010. This was again postponed to September 2011 when work was stopped when residents of villages close by launched anti-nuclear protests fearing a Fukushima-type nuclear accident.