The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has extended by a month, till June, the date of commissioning for the first 1,000 Mw unit at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP). NPCIL's website says 99.66 per cent of the physical work for the first unit is done. The plant, in southern Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district, is to have two Russian-made reactors, of a 1,00-Mw generating capacity each.
The second unit is expected to be commissioned in March 2014. As of last month, physical work progress was 93.9 per cent, said the website. The Supreme Court had cleared all legal challenges to the project on May 6. The agreement for the project was signed between the Indian and Russian governments in 1998. However, construction began only in 2001. Earlier, the plan had been held up due to Russia's political and economic upheaval in the 1990s; there were also objections from the United States, on whether the agreement met the 1992 terms of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. There has been a prolonged agitation from residents in the region against the project, under the banner of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy. They had, among other objections, noted the serious mishap at the nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan, in early 2011.