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Nuclear fuel to be loaded in Kudankulam plant

St. Petersburg, Sep 5, 2012, (IANS/RIA Novosti) : 16:23 IST
Nuclear fuel rods will be loaded into the first reactor of India's Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in the next few days, Alexander Lokshin, first deputy general director of Rosatom, said Wednesday.

"Any day now, nuclear fuel rods will be loaded into the first reactor tank of NPP Kudankulam," Lokshin said.

India signed a contract to build the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant with the USSR in 1988, while construction started only in 2002. In 2010, India and Russia agreed to build at least six power units. The project involves 1,000 MW reactors of the VVER-1000 model being constructed by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Russia's Atomstroyexport company, a Rosatom subsidiary.

The construction of the first two units was halted in September 2011 over protests by local residents who demanded the scrapping of the Indo-Russian project citing the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Protesters had blocked all roads to the plant and would not allow the workers to enter.

The work resumed in March 2012. Indian authorities say that nuclear power is necessary to meet the growing energy needs in the country.

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