The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant has moved one step closer to its commissioning with Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) giving the clearances required ahead of filling of the real fuel in the reactor.
AERB on May 10 permitted KNPP to open the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) Top Head, Dummy Fuel Assembly removal and the RPV inspection for unit 1, one step short of filling enriched uranium, a top plant official said.
"AERB has given major clearances to KNPP. Now, the plant stands one clearance before loading the real fuel. We are working towards it," KNPP Site Director R S Sundar said.
NPCIL chief S K Jain said during an inspection of the plant in April that after obtaining clearance, the reactor pressure vessel would be opened and the inspection of the reactor internal components taken up.
AERB would carry out a detailed study of these inspection reports and then give a clearance for the fuel loading, which would be the first step towards attaining criticality.
Commissioning work at the Indo Russian project, which had remained stalled following protests by anti-nuclear activists citing safety concerns, resumed in full swing after the Tamil Nadu Government gave its green signal in March.
Activists of People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) revived their agitations since May 1, demanding that the government resume talks with them.