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Home News Power Sector News AERB begins inspection of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project

AERB begins inspection of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project

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KudankulamA 10-member team of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) began a crucial and final pre-commissioning phase inspection of the first 1,000 MWe unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu on 18-10-2012.With this, KNPP has entered a critical phase of its commissioning activities that would lead to the Unit-I's 'First Approach to Criticality (FAC)' - namely to "conduct the commencement of the controlled nuclear fission process for the first time in Unit-I of the KNPP," a top AERB source said.

The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheaded by S P Udayakumar, in a statement from Kudankulam on Thursday demanded to stop all the commissioning activities. They have planned to lay siege to the Tamil Nadu Assembly here on October 29, demanding permanent closure of the over Rs 14,000-crore project.

Since the removal of the "dummy fuel" from the first unit's Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) was completed by June-July, the AERB had given the clearance on August 10 for the initial fuel loading and FAC of first unit of KNPP.

Now, the enriched uranium fuel in the form of 163 fuel assemblies had been fully loaded into the first unit's RPV and the process of sealing the RPV was going on, the sources said. The AERB team would again do a series of inspections and checks and submit their report to the board in the next four to five days.

"Only after a review of those Inspection reports will the final clearance for FAC be given if all the stipulations have been complied by the nuclear plant operator, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)," the sources said.

Making it clear that no exact date "can be given now" on when the first KNPP reactor would go critical – to be able to generate its first unit of electricity and feed it to the power grid - the sources said that was an aspect the NPCIL would decide after AERB gave the 'final clearance.' It (FAC) could be in the first week of November 2012.

Still, NPCIL expected the first unit's 'commercial operation' to begin only in December 2012, as its power factor had to be raised in stages.

Source- Deccan herald

 

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