The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has granted clearance to the First Pour of Concrete (FPC) third and fourth units of Kudankulam Nuclear
Power Project (KKNPP).
In a meeting held on June 19, the Nuclear
Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has been granted clearance for the FPC, said AERB in an announcement. The clearance for FPC implies commencement of first pour of structural concrete and continuation of construction works of the safety related structures.
The KKNPP-3 and 4 are Water-Water Energetic Reactor
(VVER) designed by Russian. These pressurised water reactors are to be constructed in Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu.
These reactors will take a design cue from KKNPP-1 and 2, but with improvements based on commissioning and operational experience feedback.
"The FPC clearance for KKNPP-3&4 is granted based on detailed safety review and satisfactory compliance to regulatory requirements," said A U Sonawane, Head, Radiological Safety Division and External Relations Officer (ERO), AERB. At present, the excavation of main plant area of these two units is completed and is ready for construction activities.
Activists of Poovulagin Nanbargal, an organisation that has been fighting against the project, said that the clearance is illegal and does not follow any guidelines. He said, the population in the stipulated plant zone is at least 40 per cent higher than what is mentioned in the guidelines. There are other flaws including the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) done by an unaccredited agency, he alleged.
"We strongly urge to cancel the FPC and the Tamil Nadu
government shall also be held responsible for agreeing to this illegality," said G Sundarrajan, a leader of the organisation.
The Unit 3 and 4 of KNPP with a capacity of 1000 MW each are expected to bring an investment of around Rs 39,747 crore. The site was found to have an optimum potential for locating six units each of 1000 MW by the Site Selection Committee of the government. The government accorded ‘in principle’ approval for setting up of Units 5&6 at Kudankulam in October 2009.
According to reports, India and Russia
has also finalised the general framework agreement and a credit protocol for Unit 5 and 6.
The first unit of 1000 MW in KNPP synchronised in July 2013 and was dedicated to the country in August 10, 2016. The second unit of 1000 MW started operating on July 2016 and once the unit starts power generation to its full capacity, the total atomic power capacity in Tamil Nadu
would go up to 2,440 MW.