Crucial NPCIL-atomic energy regulator meet Aug 3
Chennai, July 28 (IANS) The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is gearing up for a crucial Aug 3 meeting with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) in Mumbai to discuss loading of fuel for the first 1,000-MW reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), an official said.
"We may get some indications about the loading of fuel at the meeting. We are now in the process of submitting reports about pre-service inspection of the reactor pressure vessel that got over two days ago," the official told IANS requesting anonymity.
He said AERB officials had returned to their base after reviewing the reports submitted by NPCIL during the pre-service inspection of the reactor pressure vessel.
NPCIL had June 30 commenced the pre-service inspection of the reactor pressure vessel of the nuclear project's first unit.
At that time, it was said the inspection would take 10-12 days to end and it would provide the baseline date for future inspections, apart from providing data on the status of the reactor pressure vessel.
However, the completion of inspection needed some more time.
The inspection is automated and the equipment is under water in the pressure vessel.
NPCIL officials are hopeful of loading the 163 fuel assemblies into the light water reactor supplied by Russia by the end of next month unless some unforeseen events happen.
According to an official, AERB would normally give the clearance to load the fuel, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions.
Meanwhile, officials at KNPP are readying the reactor systems for fuel loading.
NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW reactors - supplied by Russia - in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli, around 650 km from here.
Asked about the status of the second unit, the official said the electrical systems were being charged and the sea water pumps were running.
While unit one was 99.40 percent complete, the other was 94.80 percent complete.
The NPCIL has announced that the first unit would be commercially operational in August and the second unit in March 2013.
Work on the project came to a standstill last year after villagers, fearing nuclear accident, started a protest.
In March, the Tamil Nadu government gave its green signal to the project and also announced Rs.500 crore for local area and infrastructural development.
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