Hindustan Times: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured Russian President Vladimir Putin that the first phase of the nuclear power project at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu will be up and running by next month. I am pleased to inform you Mr President that Kudankulam Unit I will become operational, in particular, the very next month the prime minister told the Russian president when they met at a bilateral meeting on the margins of the fifth BRICS Summit late on Wednesday.
The prime minister also assured the Russian president about the substantive progress being made on the other remaining phases of the joint nuclear energy programme between India and Russia at Kudankulam, near Tirunelveli in town in Tamil Nadu.
“As far as Unit III and IV are concerned, we have secured our internal approvals,” the prime minister said, referring to the sanction granted by the meeting of the cabinet committee on security, which he chairs.
The country’s atomic power plant operator, NPCIL, is setting up the nuclear power project in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai, with two Russian-made VVER 1,000-MW each reactors.
The nuclear power project is an outcome of an inter-governmental agreement between India and the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1988. However, the construction began only in 2001.
The AERB gave its nod for loading the 163 bundles of enriched uranium fuel in the first reactor at KNPP Sep 18, 2012 after the plant complied with all the conditions laid down by the bureau in its Aug 10 sanction order.
NPCIL completed the fuel loading process Oct 2, 2012.
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) is spearheading the protest against KNPP.