Chennai: Officials of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited are inspecting the first unit of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tirunelveli district after removing dummy fuel from the reactor prior to getting clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory board to upload the real fuel.

"The removal of dummy fuel from the reactor was completed on Saturday. We are now inspecting the reactor and will conduct some checks. Once this is done, our officials will go to AERB (Atomic Energy Regulatory Board) in Mumbai to submit the reports", KNPP Site Director R S Sundar said.

The process would take 10 to 15 days after which AERB would review the plant and give clearance to upload the real fuel. AERB had on May 10 permitted KNPP to open the Reactor Pressure Vessel Top Head, Dummy Fuel Assembly removal and the RPV inspection for unit 1, one step short of filling enriched uranium.

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 spearheading the stir against KNPP revived their agitations on May 1, demanding that the government resume talks with them.

(Agencies)

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