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Anti Koodankulam activists to meet PM

Chennai, Oct 6 (): Anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) team has sought an appointment with PM through the Tamil Nadu Chief Secertary office. The team consisting of  ten members has to contact Chief  Secretary Debendranath Sarangi. The KNPP members will be informed the time and also the members of the State Government who will accompany them.

The KNPP memorandum clearly asks for scrapping of the project while the power starved TN passed a cabinet resolution to stop work till the local population fears are allayed and stopped short of asking for its scrapping. KNNP activists meeting the PM said that if the TN memorandum was not on the lines of their demand then both sides will present seperate memorandums.

M R Srinivasan who  is former chairman and current member of Atomic Energy Commission in an article to The New Indian Express observed that Koodankulam is safe and not vulnerable to quakes and that it was the third generation design reactor unlike the Fukishma which was first generation reactor He wrote “In May, A E Mutthunayagan, former secretary, Department of Ocean Development and I visited the Koodankulam site and reviewed the safety of the installation from the point of view of tsunamis and flood hazards. We went over the levels adopted for various plant equipment and were satisfied that they were well above the level of any possible tsunami or flood anticipated. We also noted that Koodankulam is well connected to the southern grid which is fed by a number of thermal and hydroelectric power stations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. We were impressed with many of the other safety features of the design.

India has 20 nuclear reactors in operation and has trained a large number of competent personnel for operations and maintenance. While many of our units are 220 MW in size, units 3 and 4 at Tarapur are 540 MW in size. The two Tarapur units have been operating well in the last 2 years. Koodankulam units are of 1000 MW capacity and hence scale up from Tarapur units is not expected to present any difficulties.

Some weeks prior to the September agitation, a rumour had spread in the neighbouring villages that the Department of Atomic Energy was likely to evacuate people living there and acquire their lands. The DAE has no plans to acquire any land beyond what it already possesses and has adequate land for even additional units that may come up.

Many of the people living around Koodankulam are engaged in fishing activities. There are fears that the reactor might affect their means of livelihood but fishing activities at Kalpakkam and Tarapur are going on normally without any hindrance. In fact quality of life and standard of living has improved in these areas.

Some who oppose nuclear energy on principle say ‘let us use solar and wind energy’. At present solar energy costs about Rs 20/kWh, wind energy may cost Rs 10/kWh and is available only for about 20 or 25 per cent of the time when wind blows. Our nuclear power stations are selling energy at Rs 1/ kWh at Tarapur, Rs 3/kWh at Kaiga and the newer units. Power from Koodankulam will be well below Rs 3/kWh. We all know how Tamil Nadu and the other southern states are struggling with power shortages. The two units of Koodankulam will supply about 1000 MW to Tamil Nadu, without the hassle of getting coal from Orissa or overseas. It is therefore in the interest of the people of Tamil Nadu to let the Koodankulam units to be put into operation at the earliest. The safety record of the NPCIL and the Department of Atomic Energy is very good and they can be trusted not to sacrifice the safety of the people living in and around Koodankulam,”

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