Koodankulam to be commissioned next month

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited started loading uranium fuel in the reactor in September.

 
New Delhi: 

The commissioning of Koodankulam plant would take place during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India next month.

It may be noted that the nuke facility has come with the help from Russian engineers.

Diplomatic sources said that the possibility of commissioning while Putin is in India cannot be excluded as this will have an immense "symbolic value'' for relations.

However, they ruled out Putin's visit to Kudankulam.

"The time constraint will prevent Putin from going there himself but the commissioning can happen even in a virtual manner with the Russian President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh together giving the go-ahead from Delhi,'' said a source.

It remains to be seen if the two sides, especially the Indian government, eventually agree to this as the commissioning of the first 1,000 MW pressurized heavy water nuclear power plant could spark a fresh wave of protests from the locals.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited started loading uranium fuel in the reactor in September and now trials at different operating conditions are being carried out.

"We have reached a stage where the commissioning of the plant means no more than pushing a button,'' said a source.

Sources, however, said that there is still no progress in attempts by both sides to settle the issue of Kudankulam 3 and 4, which India wants to bring under the purview of its nuclear liability law.

The two sides are discussing the likely hike in the cost of these two reactors following India's decision.

Source: Times of India

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