"We are closely working with Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to complete all tests and ensure regulatory compliances. We hope to start power generation this September," P Chellapandi, chairman and managing director, Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (BHAVINI), told IANS.
The project site at Madras Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam, around 80 km from here, has been undertaken by BHAVINI, the country's second nuclear power plant operator tasked with operating fast breeder reactors.
"The plant is expected to be commissioned this year. Different processes are expected to be over in one or two months. Thereafter, fuel will have to be loaded into the reactor," Sekhar Basu, a member of Atomic Energy Commission and director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), told IANS.
The prototype fast breeder reactor will use a blend of plutonium and uranium oxide for fuel, called MOX fuel.
Mr Chellapandi said the unit would be connected to the southern grid and start feeding power to the tune of 30 per cent of its total capacity.
According to Mr Basu, also a director at Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), the second 1,000-MW unit at Kudankulam plant is also expected to be commissioned this year.
The NPCIL has set up two 1,000-MW nuclear power plants at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, around 650 km from here.
Both units are supplied by Russian company Rosatom.
The first unit was connected to the southern grid in December 2014 and is now operating at around 60 per cent of its capacity.
Mr Basu said the first unit would be refuelled. One third of fuel pins have to be changed every year.
He said the refuelling process is being prolonged since the second unit is yet to go on stream.
According to NPCIL, the second unit at Kudankulam has achieved a physical progress of 98.23 per cent as on May 2015.
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