Jayalalithaa demands 1,000MW powerfrom Kudankulam unit

CHENNAI - Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has reiterated her demand for the entire power generated by the first unit of two 1,000MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) for the state.

By (IANS)

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Published: Tue 21 Aug 2012, 12:28 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:52 AM

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 per cent (400 MW) of the reactor’s capacity,” a senior official of NPCIL told IANS.

Gradually the power production will be increased and full power generation is expected to happen on 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) told IANS.

He said if 400 MW power comes from KNPP, then the state capital would be free of power cuts.

Meanwhile, India is set to renew its pitch for universal nuclear disarmament at a conference here Tuesday, an idea first thrown up by the late Rajiv Gandhi.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna will inaugurate the National Outreach Conference on Global Nuclear Disarmament, an initiative of the prime minister’s informal group on global disarmament chaired by Mani Shankar Aiyar of the Congress.

The conference, organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs and supported by the external affairs ministry, is being held to commemorate the 68th birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Gandhi presented a plan for a nuclear-weapons-free world order at the UN General Assembly June 9, 1988.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi are also expected to address the conference which will rope in college students.

The talks on disarmament remain deadlocked at the UN Conference on Disarmament due to objections from Pakistan.



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