Things are going on smoothly and the loading of enriched uranium fuel into the first reactor at Kudankulam is expected to begin by the middle of this month.

This was stated by Chairman and Managing Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) K.C. Purohit. “Our inspection [of the reactor pressure vessel] is almost complete,” he said from Mumbai. “We will submit our observations and reports to a committee of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and load the fuel based on its decision.”

The Government of India ratified the Convention on Nuclear Safety on March 31, 2005. This National Report is being submitted by India for review by the Contracting Parties to the 2 nd extraordinary meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) in accordance with article 23 of the convention.

Yet another leak has been reported within a month at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) at Rawatbhata near Kota, exposing workers to tritium radiation, and causing concern among the country’s nuclear energy watchers. The senior management at Rawatbhata, a site getting ready for India’s second-biggest Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) with a capacity of 500 tonnes a year, however, has dismissed the leak as a “routine’ matter.

Four maintenance workers were exposed to tritium radiation last Thursday (July 19), while repairing a faulty pipe in PHWR (pressurised heavy water reactor) Unit 4. The earlier incident, which took place on June 23, reportedly exposed more than 40 persons, working on a coolant at Unit 6, to tritium.

Adequate technology and experience are available with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) for transporting spent fuel from one location to another by rail and road in a safe manner without any public hazard. This was stated in a note when a batch of petitions relating to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) came up before a Division Bench of Justices P. Jyothimani and M. Duraisamy for further hearing on Thursday.

The note, filed through NPCIL counsel Krishna Srinivasan, stated that at Kudankulam, spent fuel from the reactors would be stored in the spent fuel pool designed for the storage of spent fuel assembly.

With the technology hurdle no longer in the way, India is readying thorium supplies to fuel its pilot advanced heavy water reactor (AHWR) that is currently in the works.

There appears to be considerable opposition from the local population to the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) proposed to be set up at Rawatbhata near Kota in Rajasthan. The complex, with an envisaged capacity of 500 tonnes fuel a year, is to cater to the four PHWR (Pressurized heavy water reactors) plants of 700 MWe capacity each coming up by 2016 in Rajasthan and Gujarat. In capacity, the Rawatbhata fuel complex is to be next to only Hyderabad NFC in the country which produces 850 tonnes fuel a year.

A fact-finding team of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has concluded that the no offsite emergency preparedness exercise was held for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), and that the Tirunelveli district administration’s claim that such a drill was successfully done was untrue.

PUCL national secretary V. Suresh told a press conference here on Saturday that what the district authorities conducted in the name of an emergency preparedness exercise at Nakkaneri, a hamlet seven km from KKNPP on June 9, comprising three stages, was mere eyewash.

Read Environment Impact Assessment of nuclear fuel complex proposed at Rawatbhata, Rajasthan. This project was opposed at the public hearing organized on 11 July 2012 by the Department of Atomic Energy and NPCIL.

“The Prime Minister should consider the development and aspirations of the deprived people of Uttarakhand and not give in to pressure tactics of anti-India forces that staged a drama at Rajghat and Jantar Mantar in New Delhi today,” said Jan Manch convenor Rajendra Todaria.

Senior Uttarakhand State activist and journalist Jai Prakash Uttarakhandi addressing media persons in Mussoorie threatened renewal of “Uttarakhand-type agitation” if the Centre does not immediately order resumption of work on all the suspended power projects.

JAIPUR: The two under-construction power generating units and the proposed Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) at the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) in Rawatbhata have raked up a major controversy wi