Kudankulam: Central panel deliberates in detail


Chennai : The multi-disciplinary experts committee set up by the central government to interact with officials of the Tamil Nadu government and representatives of the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) movement held intensive deliberations Wednesday, officials said.

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“The deliberations are intense with the committee members asking probing questions from Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) officials about the safety of the Russian reactors installed there,” an official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

It is learnt that one of the members of the experts committee, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) S.K. Sharma, raised pertinent questions to elucidate information from NPCIL officials about the reactors.

Sharma has visited several nuclear reactors overseas.

Members of the experts panel have divided themselves into small teams based on their area of expertise.

India’s nuclear power plant operator NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam, around 650 km from here.

The first unit is scheduled to go on stream in December. The project is estimated to cost around Rs.13,160 crore (over $2.5 billion).

Villagers fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident and the long-term impact it would have on the population.

Their agitation has put a stop to the project work, thereby delaying the commissioning of the first unit by several months.

In order to allay the fears of the public, the central and the state governments have formed two separate committees.

The second meeting of the two committees is slated Friday.

The first meeting between the two panels took place Nov 8 when members representing the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) that is spearheading the anti-KNPP struggle submitted a list of questions and also asked for copies of the inter-governmental agreement signed between India and Russia and a white paper on the project.

The experts panel will also be visiting Kudankulam Thursday before finalising its report and the answers to the questions.