New Delhi: The controversy-hit Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) will start its production by the first week of December, Union minister V Narayanasamy said on Friday. He said enriched uranium has been fed in the core of the vessel and the lid was closed. "Now, the vessel is being pressurised. After that trial run will start. That will go for about 20 days. Thereafter the production is likely to start. Probably in the end of November or first week of December," he said.

Citing letters from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on power shortage in which she had sought entire 1,000 MW of power from the plant to be given to Tamil Nadu.

Narayansamy said Tamil Nadu would get 450 MWs of power as per the agreement and he would request Singh to allot additional power to the state.

India's atomic power plant operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd is setting up the plant at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district.

Narayanasamy said the Centre is getting support from ruling AIADMK on the project. He said since law and order is a state subject, the state government has to support us for the purpose of providing security to the plant.

"Therefore I said the DMK has supported us (as the project started when they were in power in the state). They are supporting us. Now the AIADMK after coming to power, they are also supporting us for the project. Therefore, we have support from both of them. This is what I said. But it was twisted by the media," the minister said.

His reaction came on media reports quoting Narayanasamy that DMK has initially supported the Kudankulam power project, but later backed out. Rejecting the report, Narayanasamy said, "So many have tried to divide Congress and DMK and now it is media's turn.

"We have to carry state government with us. Therefore the state government is supporting (on Kudankulam). On the nuclear project they are supporting us." The KNPP is an outcome of the Inter-Governmental Agreement signed between India and erstwhile Soviet Union in 1988. However, the project construction only began in 2001.

The commissioning of the first unit of the Indo-Russian project was originally scheduled for December last year, but has been delayed due to protests.

Narayanasamy said that some Maoists were also arrested for supporting anti-Kudankulam protest in Tamil Nadu. "We said it (protest) has been supported by the NGO from abroad. One foreign national was arrested and deported. Some of the Maoists have been arrested. They are in jail.

"Under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, notices were issued to six NGOs in Tamil Nadu, which are near Kudankulam plant, because there was no proper accounts shown by them. That investigation was being done by the Ministry of Home Affairs," the minister, who represents Puducherry constituency in Lok Sabha, said.


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