SME Times News Bureau | 20 Aug, 2012
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has reiterated her demand for the entire power generated by the first unit of two 1,000 MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) for the state.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the chief minister cited the imminent loading of the fuel in the first reactor.
"May I take this opportunity to remind you of my earlier request and expect a quick response? I am sure you will appreciate my state's justified demand in this matter and convey a positive response soon."
Reminding Manmohan Singh of her earlier requests, Jayalalithaa expressed her dismay that the correspondence had evoked no response from him.
India's atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two reactors with Russian equipments at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here.
Work at the project had come to a standstill in August last year after villagers, fearing a nuclear accident, mounted a mass protest under People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy banner.
With the resumption of work in March this year, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) gave its nod to NPCIL to load the fuel Aug 10.
Meanwhile, the NPCIL armed with the AERB's nod to load the 163 enriched uranium fuel bundles in the first reactor unit is working feverishly and with double caution to power the reactor before this month end.
"The reactor will attain criticality in two weeks time from the date of loading the fuel. In two days power generation would go up to 25 percent (400 MW) of the reactor's capacity," a senior official of NPCIL said.
Gradually the power production will be increased and full power generation is expected to happen January next year.
Even 400 MW power from the KNPP will be of great relief for Tamil Nadu suffering from severe power shortage, a senior official at Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corp Ltd (TANGEDCO) said.
He said if 400 MW power comes from KNPP, then the state capital would be free of power cuts.