Chennai: The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project will once again miss the target as the time frame of commissioning of the first unit has now been revised to the new year. Commercial operation of the 1,000MW first unit, where 99.65 percent of the physical progress has been completed, is expected to take place in January next, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited ( NPCIL) said.

Minister of state in the PMO V Narayanasamy, who has been monitoring the progress of the Indo-Russian project, hit by protests over safety concerns, had informed Lok Sabha last week that Unit-I was likely to be commissioned by this month end.

Similarly, commercial operation of the second unit has also been fixed for August next year.

"Preparatory works are going on. Each and every step of is being monitored by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. We are doing our best to commission it as soon as possible," sources in the Plant said.

M Pushparayan, a leader of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the over year-long stir demanding scrapping of the KKNPP, said though it has been said the commissioning would take place some time this month "now, we heard that they have given a date on January 15".

After resorting to a series of protests including 'sea siege' of the plant, located in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district, PMANE now wants a national debate on the Centre's 'ambitious and aggressive' nuclear power programme and intends to make it an issue in the Lok Sabha elections.

"If the Congress, BJP or any other party manage to convince the Indian voters about full-scale nuclearisation of the country and obtain absolute majority in the next Parliament, we will call off the ongoing struggle against the project immediately," PMANE said.


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