Tirunelveli: The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will attain criticality by midnight on Saturday, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman SK Sinha announced in Tirunelveli.
Talking to newsmen, Sinha, flanked by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Chairman KC Purohit and Executive Director, NPCIL, Nageswara Rao, said four operators were monitoring the "Boron dilution process", which would allow neutron concentration to go up and start nuclear fission, generating heat.
The heat would start operating the turbine to generate power, he said.
"The Boron dilution process will be over by mid-night and the reactor will go critical," he said adding the entire process was well in compliance with the established principles.
Experts from NPCIL and Russian Kursatov Institute of Atomic energy and AERB observers were monitoring the process. Sinha and Purohit said the process of criticality was started at 11:45 PM on Thursday, when the control rods were removed to allow boron dilution.
They said work on the "first phase of power generation in Unit-I is systematically proceeding."
The Turbine would start generating power, that is power meant for consumption, in 40 days.
In the first stage, the unit would produce only 50 per cent of its capacity, followed by 70 per cent in the second stage and 90 per cent in the third stage etc.
"Each and every phase of the work from construction of the plant to the commissioning of the plant is being monitored meticulously, and every process is well-documented. The scientists and workers are working with team spirit," Purohit said.