Regulator Begins Review of Kudankulam Plant

India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is carrying out a thorough review of the first 1,000-megawatt unit of the Russian-built Kudankulam nuclear power plant in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

"We are reviewing the safety aspects of Unit 1 at Kudankulam as directed by the Supreme Court," an AERB official said Sunday.

In its landmark judgment on May 6, the Indian Supreme Court approved the commissioning of the Kudankulam plant but also spelled out 15 directions on ensuring safety at the nuclear facility as well as handling of spent fuel. The court ruled that the plant should not be made operational unless the AERB, Nuclear Power Corporation of India and the Department of Atomic Energy authorize the commissioning of the unit, "ensuring the quality of various components and systems because their reliability is of vital importance."

According to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India's Website, 99.67 percent of the first unit has been built, and 94.52 percent of the second unit has been completed. The second unit is expected to be commissioned in March 2014.

(MT)

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