Change of guard at Kudankulam new site director.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) has appointed a new director for the project t a crucial juncture when the much-delayed Kudankulam nuclear power plant is nearing completion.

R.S.Sundar was station director at Kudankulam. He has been promoted as site director of Kasinath Balaji, who has been made executive director (light water reactor operations) and posted in Mumbai.

Top-level changes have been effected at the Kudankulam plant Due to retirement of some officials in the NPCIL. While Sundar would be replaced by Harinarayan Sahu as station director, S.V.Jinnah would replace Sahu as the chief superintendent.

Confirming his appointment, Sundar told TOI he would assume charge as site director soon. Sundar said that i have already started doing the duties of a site director and after I receive orders, I will take charge.

Sundar takes charge of the plant at a time when the first reactor is expected to attain criticality by month-end. Sundar said that a tough job is ahead of us. But we are confident of going ahead with our plans to operationalise the first unit. It is also of a new technology.

Also he said that the technical team of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has checked the reactor and we are expecting a high-level team to inspect it before giving its approval for fuel loading.

His native Tirunelveli district, Sundar (54) obtained mechanical engineering degree from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology and underwent one-year training in light water reactors at the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre's training school. Sundar took charge as additional chief engineer of the Kudankulam plant in 2002. He said that i want to demonstrate that the reactor is absolutely safe, economically viable and environmentally friendly in terms of production of electricity.

Protesters opposed to the plant have re-launched their indefinite fast at nearby Idinthakkarai.