Government taking Kudankulam concerns ’seriously’: PM

December 15th, 2011 - 1:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday said the government was taking seriously the concern among people about the safety of nuclear energy as reflected in the protests in Tamil Nadu over the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

“The protests in Kudankulam reflect the concern among people about the safety of nuclear energy. People are also worried that such plants should not affect their livelihood and environment,” Manmohan Singh told a group of Russian journalists here, ahead of his Moscow trip.

“The government takes these concerns seriously. We have set up an independent group of experts to respond to all the legitimate and genuine concerns and fears of the local people,” he said.

Manmohan Singh will be in Moscow till Saturday for a summit meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The two nations are expected to sign key agreements in the defence, health and science and technology fields, apart from discussions on key deals in nuclear energy and hydrocarbons sectors.

The prime minister will discuss with Medvedev a deal on setting up units III and IV of the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu, where villagers are protesting for the last 10 months against the first two units following the Japanese Fukushima nuclear plant disaster early 2011.

Manmohan Singh said peoples’ support was “essential” if India developed nuclear energy in the country.

“I know that the Russian leadership also has the same priority and has taken several initiatives, including in the international arena, which we welcome.”

He expressed hope that India-Russia cooperation in the nuclear field would continue and promised that India would fulfill its commitments.

“India has always regarded Russia as partner who was with us in times of difficulty and even when there were restrictions on nuclear commerce with India. I wish to thank all the Russian experts who are working with us in the Kudankulam project.”

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