The Kudankulam nuclear reactor will start generating 1000 MW of power by October end, Union Minister V Narayanasamy today said.
The first unit will add 1000 MW to the southern grid, helping Tamil Nadu tide over its power crisis to a large extent. Holding that India's nuclear power programme is "unassailable", the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office said a "misinformation" campaign was launched by several NGOs in the area about the safety of the plant.
"Some organisations in Kudankulam, are very active. But we took it on, we failed them and I personally went there. The plant has seven layers safety system," he said speaking at a conference on nuclear energy.
The project, dogged by delays since December last following protests by locals over safety concerns, was given the go-ahead by the Supreme Court on May 6. "While 400 MW production will be coming, by end of October we will achieve 1000 MW capacity there," he said.
The Minister also stated that work on the country's first fast breeder reactor at Kalpakam was 97% complete and the work could be complete by early 2014.
Talks are also on with France for the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) nuclear plant supplied by Areva Group at Jaitapur, Maharashtra. "We are committed to the project," he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Department of Atomic Energy R K Sinha said both countries need to "converge" on certain issues such as pricing issue where energy cost is one of the fundamental things and the other one being applicability of Indian laws particularly Civil Nuclear Liability Act which is in place. Narayanasamy also favoured reducing the time frame for setting up of nuclear power plants, with 17 permissions currently required before project initiation.