Atomic panel seeks to ‘win hearts’ of Kudankulam people

November 24th, 2011 - 11:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Nov 24 (IANS) Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman S. Banerjee Thursday exuded confidence that by allaying fears over the Kudankulam nuclear power project, they would win the “hearts of the people”.

He said AEC had taken up a “structured discussion” through which it was trying to address various concerns raised by locals.

Stating that it is not easy to address open meetings and have direct contact with people, Banerjee said they were trying to address the issues through a 15-member expert committee constituted by the central government and a four-member committee of the Tamil Nadu government.

“My understanding is that by clearing all the points raised, we can win the hearts of the people there and tell them that what we are trying to do is only for the betterment of the region and we are not going to affect their livelihood or cause any problem for the environment and their future,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the 22nd annual conference of Indian Nuclear Society.

Banerjee said the expert committee had made its report public and given written answers to questions sent to it. The answers were circulated among people of the region trough the state government’s panel, which also comprises civil society spokespersons.

The AEC chairman assured the fishing community that the plant would in no way influence their livelihood, as evident from Tarapur and Kalpakam stations.

He claimed that radiation would not at all be a concern. The plant is expected to have close to one microsievert radiation, while the world average natural background radiation is 2,400 microsievert.

Banerjee said they were “100 percent sure” that no problem experienced at Fukushima plant in Japan after the tsunami earlier this year would be witnessed at Kudankulam.

He said unlike Fukushima, which falls under seismic zone five, Kudankulam comes under zone two and thus it was a least seismic area.

He said there would be a clear margin between the highest possible sea level during tsunami and the equipment. The plant will not any receive any electric input from anywhere and will have a special cooling system to take care of decay heat.

India’s nuclear power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is building two 1,000 MW nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

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