The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has give its approval for loading of the fuel into the first unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
It is believed that the approval is a major step towards commissioning of the plant, which has seen continued protest by various groups over concerns of nuclear safety especially due to the fallout of the nuclear disaster in Japan.
AERB has also approved the "first approach to criticality'' of the unit, which will result in the commencement of the controlled nuclear fission process in the nuclear plant, that will generate much needed electricity for the states in the region.
AERB has said in a media release that the approval was given after a detailed review of the documents submitted by the Nuclear Power Corporation [NPCIL] as per the requirements. The fuel loading and commencement of controlled nuclear process will be carried out under the supervision of AERB officials, according to the release.
Experts from both the state as well as the central government had studied various aspects of the proposed 2,000-Mw plant and said that they were satisfied with the safety arrangements at the site. According to officials, the severe power shortage in the state had also put a lot of pressure on the government to go ahead with the project, which is almost ready.
Experts have said that the plant is safe and does not face a threat from Tsunami. They have also expressed satisfaction over the safety measures put in place by operators at the plant.