Unit 1 of India's Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu has been granted a licence for "regular operation" by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).
Kudankulam 1, with a VVER-1000 reactor supplied by Russia, was built under an agreement between India and Russia signed in 1988.
The licence for regular operation follows "in-depth reviews over many years" of the safety aspects related to design, construction and commissioning, AERB said. The reviews included checks to ensure that quality assurance norms have been followed and commissioned systems meet the criteria for safe operation.
The 917MWe (net) unit, India's first pressurised water reactor, achieved criticality in July 2013 and was connected to the grid in October 2013. Commissioning was delayed by protests and legal action following the 2011 Fukushima accident in Japan.
Construction of Kudankulam 2, another VVER-1000, is complete and the plant is undergoing commissioning. Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said construction of two more units is scheduled to begin at Kudankulam this year or in 2016.
The AERB also announced that it had given siting consent for four 630MWe indigenous pressurised heavy water reactors at Gorakhpur Haryana Anu Vidyut Pariyojana NPP in Haryana state, a greenfield site in northern India. The reactors will be the same as those under construction at Kakrapar (units 3 and 4), and Rajasthan (units 7 and 8).