TN nuclear plant's second unit gets clearance, to go critical soon

New Delhi: The Kudankulam nuclear power plant's second unit is expected to go critical in a few days after the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) gave the final clearance on Friday, informed sources said. While not giving the exact time frame, sources in the nuclear plant said the second unit will start production of power soon. "We have got the final clearance from the AERB. The second unit will go critical soon," the sources told IANS. Loading of 163 enriched uranium fuel assemblies into Kudankulam-II began on May 11 and was completed on May 19. The first unit, with a similar capacity of 1,000 megawatt, reached criticality on July 13, 2013. The plant has been built jointly by India and Russia. In an interview to IANS earlier, Vladimir A. Angelov, the Director for Projects in India for ASE, the Engineering and Construction Division of Rosatom, had said that the plant have enhanced safety features. "It is a generation three plus plant, which takes into account the Fukushima event. The post-Fukushima safety enhancement requirements have already been implemented and being operated successfully," said an official who did not want to be named. "The reactor of the Kudankulam plant is protected from the impact of earthquake, tsunami, tornado and hurricanes," the official added.