According to the AEC chairman, the operation of unit-1 at Kudankulam is expected to commence shortly while commissioning of the second unit is expected to follow early next year
New Delhi: The much-delayed Kudankulam nuclear power project is expected to become operational shortly, reports PTI quoting Ratan Kumar Sinha, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).
"The work on the construction of the first of the two 1000 MW light water reactors (LWRs) at Kudankulam is complete," Sinha said addressing a function in Mumbai to commemorate the 103rd birth anniversary of Homi Jehangir Bhabha, the founder of India's nuclear programme.
"The operation of unit-1 is expected to commence shortly and commissioning of the second unit is expected to follow early next year," he said.
Officials in the know said the first unit on the Kudankulam nuclear power project may go critical as early as next week.
Loading of 163 bundles of enriched uranium fuel into the reactor began on 19th September and was completed on 2nd October.
Engineers of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and experts from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and the International Atomic Energy Agency carried out in depth review of the reactor.
Last week, the reactor pressure vessel of the 1,000 MW was closed after getting the go ahead from the AERB and IAEA.
A series of pressure tests would be carried out on the reactors in the presence of the AERB and IAEA experts.
Pressure and temperature inside the reactor would be increased artificially in a gradual manner to rule out any discrepancies.
Commissioning of the first unit of the Indo-Russian project was originally scheduled for December last year, but has been delayed due to protests.
The Court said the CA was aware that his "terrifying act" would have endangered the safety of the 160 passengers and the crew members on board the Goa-Delhi Indigo flight
New Delhi: A chartered accountant (CA) was on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a court here for triggering a mid-air hijack scare in February 2009 by claiming aboard a Goa-Delhi Indigo airlines flight that he had infected needles and a gun, reports PTI.
"The accused Jitender Kumar Mohla is awarded life imprisonment under section 3(1)(d) of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation," District Judge IS Mehta said.
The court, which had also convicted Mohla under sections 336 (endangering life or personal safety of others), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 170 (impersonating a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, awarded him varying jail terms which were set off against the period spent by him behind bars since his arrest on 2 February 2009.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs7,000 on him.
According to the police, Mohla had entered into the cockpit on 1 February 2009 and had sparked panic by claiming that he had hijacked the plane.
Mohla had also warned the crew members that he was one of the accused in the infamous Kandahar hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in 1999 and was carrying needles with which he would "infect" others if they resisted him, it had said.
The crew members and some passengers, however, had overpowered Mohla and he was arrested the next day.
Police had said Mohla's behaviour had forced the Indigo pilot to send a hijack alert, leading to a scare and panic at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport at New Delhi.
The plane had made an emergency landing and was kept in isolation for two and a half hours after it was confirmed that the landing took place due to unruly behaviour of Mohla.
The court, in its judgement convicting 45-year-old Mohla, had said he had intimidated the crew members by claiming to be an official of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
It had also said that Mohla was aware that his "terrifying act" would have endangered the safety of the 160 passengers and the crew members on board.
The court, in its judgement, had said every person on board a flight should observed certain "standards of behaviour" as per the norms laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the DGCA as India is a signatory to the Montreal Convention.
The court had, however, acquitted Mohla for the offence under the Anti Hijacking Act saying that nothing incriminating was found from his possession at the time of his arrest.
Mohla has been in judicial custody since his arrest in February 2009 as his bail plea was earlier rejected by the sessions court and the Delhi High Court after which he had approached the Supreme Court which too had refused to entertain his plea.
The government is concerned about how the Vijay Mallya-owned and cash-strapped carrier would pay its dues to its service providers, including airport operators, aircraft lessors and oil companies
New Delhi: Ahead of submitting a revival plan to aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Kingfisher Airlines Chairman Vijay Mallya on Tuesday met Civil Aviation Secretary KN Shrivastava and briefed him about the steps being taken to revive the beleaguered carrier, reports PTI.
Mallya is understood to have been asked by Shrivastava about the plans to pay off the debts and dues to various vendors, including Airports Authority of India (AAI) which has asked it to vacate two hangars at Kolkata and Chennai airports as it owes the state-run airports body Rs293 crore.
"I have briefed him on revival and restart plan. It would be a comprehensive plan. All hurdles will be crossed," Mallya told reporters after the meeting.
The meeting between UB Group chief and the Secretary, the first since the airline got into regulatory trouble, lasted 30 minutes, official sources said.
Kingfisher is expected to apply to the DGCA for revocation of suspension of its Scheduled Operator's Permit (SOP) or flying license in a few weeks.
For this, it has to submit to DGCA a comprehensive financial and operational plan to revive the airline and its operations, after an over three week impasse with its employees since 30th September, who struck work demanding payment of overdue salaries. The strike was followed by a lockout that was lifted on 25th October.
The services of Kingfisher can be restored only after the DGCA is convinced that the carrier can provide safe and sustainable operations.
The sources said the government is concerned about how the cash-strapped carrier would pay its dues to its service providers, including airport operators, aircraft lessors and oil companies.
The airline is likely to face more trouble soon with the Revenue Department deciding to move the Supreme Court to expedite recovery of tax dues worth about Rs330 crore.
A special leave petition is to be filed jointly by the Income Tax and Service Tax departments to apprise the apex court "of the magnitude of pending dues to the government" and seek vacation of a September 26 Karnataka High Court order restraining the I-T department from making "further recovery".
Following the High Court order, the I-T department had lifted its attachment orders on the airline's bank accounts.
While the I-T department dues stand at around Rs269 crore, the airline owes Rs60 crore to Service Tax department.
Kingfisher is saddled with a loss of Rs8,000 crore and a debt burden of an additional over Rs7,524 crore, a large part of which has not been serviced for several months.