Scotching all rumours and speculation,the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board on Thursday said that fuel loading has not yet begun at the first unit of the 1,000 MW Koodankulam nuclear plant and that the process will start only after various reviews are completed. There were reports that indicated that fuel loading had begun at the first unit of the plant,which had further angered the protesters.
The AERB on Thursday reached out,for the first time,to the protesters and the general public through the media. Allaying fears in the minds of the people,the AERB said the plant is safe,has enhanced safety features and new systems which are a first in the world. There is a seven-member AERB team at the site and we are getting daily reports from them. The reports are being reviewed and after the review process gets over,we will give a go-ahead for fuel loading, said AERB chairman S S Bajaj. He,however,did not give a timeframe as to when the operations will start.
Bajaj said a committee appointed by AERB had stated that the plant design is robust and has several advanced safety features,including those for ensuring safety against external events of natural origin.