Springing a surprise, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday said the Kudankulam nuclear power project is all set to go on stream within 10 days. "Within 10 days we will start the project," an optimistic Jayalalithaa said after participating in the chief ministers' conference in New Delhi.
Senior officials at the Nuclear Power Corporation Limited, however, did not share the CM's enthusiasm about the short deadline for commissioning of the plant.
An official said that even loading fuel in the first unit may take more than 15 days as the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is yet to give its clearance. "Only the first inspection of the unit by an AERB team has taken place and another team of senior officials will have to check the unit. Only after that we will get the clearance to load fuel," said the official.
KNPP managers and NPCL senior officials have earlier said that the first 1,000MW unit will be commissioned only by June.
With TN hard-pressed to meet the growing power demand in the state, Jayalalithaa has been making fervent pleas for getting all the 1,000MW generated from the first unit of the plant for TN.
But the Centre has made it clear that TN will receive only about 400MW and that it would adhere to a prescribed formula for power sharing among states. Last week in New Delhi, Union minister of state V Narayanasamy said power production would commence in 40 days in the first unit and two months later in the second unit.
Officials at the plant have tested more than 600 pumps and motors, 200 control panels and a same number of electrical panels and individual systems in the reactor 1. Sources said three kinds of safety drill would be done before the plant is commissioned . The first two have been completed.