Nearly three decades after the first contract was inked between India and Russia — a period that saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resultant change in world order, and as many as 10 governments in the Indian government — Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will jointly dedicate Unit 1 of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant to India on Wednesday afternoon.
The function will be organised over video conferencing between the three leaders and the plant site in Tirunelveli, top officials at KKNPP said. The chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India and site director RS Sundar, among others, will be present during the function. The complex is en route to becoming the biggest such in the country — the framework agreement for units 5 and 6 will reportedly be ready by the end of the year.
The construction of the first two units were later halted in September 2011 following protests by villagers around the plant. Work at the plant finally resumed in March 2012. And now, it's days away from generating energy. After court and governments, both state and centre, interventions the issue was addressed. On July 13, 2013, power generation started initially it was 300 Mw and it was increased to 500 Mw step by step.
In December 2014, KNPP Unit I was declared commercial operation from midnight of December 31, 2014. The second unit of KKNPP-II attained first criticality (start of controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction in the Reactor for the first time) at 20:56 hours on July 10, 2016 after accord of regulatory and statutory clearances.This will be followed by various tests, connection to the grid and raising of power in steps to full power in line with the stage-wise clearances of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).