Work has resumed on India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant, after a five-month interruption, Russian contractor Atomstroyexport has announced.
Work at the site was suspended in October 2011 as a result of protesters blocking access to the site. At that time commissioning of unit 1 was underway and hot testing had recently been completed.
According to Atomstoryexport a second phase of inspection work is currently being carried out in an effort to obtain a permit for fuel loading from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Reports in the Indian press indicate that fuel loading could begin in a month or two.
Neither Atomstoryexport nor Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) had given an expected date of operation for Kudankulam 1&2. However, according to NPCIL’s website unit 1 was 99.2% complete and unit 2 was 94.6% complete as of February 2012.
The prolonged protests against the Kudankulam nuclear plant have proved costly for the project, adding around $180 million to the total cost, according to reports in the Times of India.