From now on, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) will lose Rs 160 crore a month until the Kudankulam plant resumes operation, it is learnt.

The figure is a result of calculation on the basis of inputs given by NPCIL. In an informal chat with journalists here on Saturday, Mr Kasinath Balaji, Site Director, Kudankulam, NPCIL, said that the Kudankulam nuclear power plant should have begun producing power from early this month.

(It could not do so because of protests against the plant, which began in August. Work at the site has come to a standstill since October 13.)

Each day, the plant would have produced 24 million units of electricity, valued at Rs 5 crore. In addition, the monthly establishment expenditure works out to another Rs 8 crore, he said.

However, Mr Balaji said he was “hopeful” that the crisis would be resolved in a months' time.

The committee of the Union and State Government officials and representatives of the protesters met for the third time on Thursday, and it is understood that the protesters have asked a few more questions.

“The deadlock will be broken. We just need patience,” he said.

In informal chats with journalists, NPCIL officials ask: “How long can they keep asking questions?”

He said that from the time that work is resumed in full swing, it would take about five-six months for the plant to begin producing power.

As things stand today, only some surveillance and key maintenance work is going on, with only a handful of officials being allowed inside the plant by the protesters.

“A thousand of our employees are in the township (idle, for want of work),” he said. A hundred Russians are also at the site.