New Delhi: The launch of the first reactor of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, based on a Russian design, has been postponed from December 2009 to sometime in 2010, according to a senior Indian nuclear official.
Reports quote Dr SK Jain, who heads India's Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), as saying the delay has been caused by amendments being made to the project as well as delay in equipment supplies from Russia.
He said Russia was yet to supply 600 metric tons of pipelines, as well as other fixtures. Some of the equipment was expected to arrive only in November and some would not reach Indian shores until the first quarter of 2010. In such a situation, inserting fuel into the reactor as early as December was not possible.
Dr Jain expressed doubt if the first reactor would be ready in the first quarter of next year. However, an attempt would be made to provide a timeline sometime next month.
It may be pointed out that loading of fuel for the first unit of the 2,000-MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu was the main agenda at the joint coordination committee meeting of the Nuclear Power Corp of India (NPCIL) and Russian agency AtomStroyExport, held on 11 August.
The committee was expected to review the project's progress. As per schedule, the first unit was expected to generate power early next year and the second was to go critical after that.