Activists dispute reports on Kudankulam N-plant supplying power

Chennai, Oct 26 (IANS) The first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) is supplying around 175 MW power and is still connected to the southern grid, officials said, even as activists disputed the claim.

"The unit is still connected to the grid and power supply is around 175-200 MW," an official of the Power System Operation Corporation Ltd, a subsidiary of the National Grid Corporation and which manages the Southern Grid, told IANS Saturday, preferring to remain anonymous.

A source close to KNPP told IANS that the unit was running and transmitting power to the grid. The 1,000 MW-capacity unit that tripped Oct 22 was reconnected to the grid Friday night.

Anti-KNPP activists, citing the Power System Operation Corporation's reports, dispute the reconnection of the atomic power plant to the grid Friday night.

"The daily operation report of the grid company does not mention anything about the power supplied by the Kudankulam unit," M. Pushparayan of People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) told IANS.

A retired employee of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), preferring anonymity, told IANS that when even the generation data of power units that have not started commercial production are reflected in the reports, data relating to KNPP should also be there.

Pushparayan said even the reports of Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation Ltd make no mention of power from KNPP.

Officials of KNPP belonging to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) were not available for comment on the status of the unit despite several attempts by IANS to contact them.

On Oct 22, the first unit at KNPP was synchronised with the power grid at 2.45 a.m, generating 75 MW of power. The power generation was subsequently increased to 160 MW.

Nearly two hours later the unit tripped though KNPP officials maintain that the plant had been stopped.

The NPCIL has been setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here. The total outlay for the project is over Rs.17,000 crore.

KNPP is India's first pressurised water reactor belonging to the light water reactor category.

The first unit attained criticality, which is the beginning of the fission process, for the first time in July 2013.

In August, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) gave its nod to KNPP to raise the reactor power levels to 50 percent and for synchronisation of the unit with the power grid.

The NPCIL earlier said it would connect the first unit to the grid end-August, generating 400 MW power.

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