Kalam to visit Kudankulam n-plant Sunday

November 5th, 2011 - 8:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 5 (IANS) Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will visit the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) Sunday to see for himself the safety features of the two Russian reactors being set up in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.

“The former president will visit the KNPP Sunday to see for himself the safety features of the reactors. The main idea is to verify the safety features incorporated in the nuclear power plant before coming out with a report on the atomic power plants located on the Indian coast,” V. Ponraj, advisor to Kalam, told IANS on phone from New Delhi.

According to Ponraj, after the plant visit a report on the nuclear plants on the Indian coast will be prepared and issued.

“We have visited the Kudankulam plant earlier as well as the other atomic power plants located on the coast,” Ponraj said.

India’s nuclear power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. 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 expected 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.

According to Ponraj, the former president was open to meeting the public and the agitators Sunday if the state government and the atomic energy establishment organised a meeting.

He said Kalam would return to New Delhi Sunday evening as he had to address a nuclear energy conference the next day.

“If Kalam wants to come and meet people at Idinthakarai he is welcome. If he wants to address the people at Idinthakarai (near Kudankulam) he is welcome to do that. We will extend all respects to him. But we are not willing to have a dialogue with him on the issue of nuclear power plant,” M. Pushparayan, convener of the Coastal People’s Federation, told IANS.

The relay fast against KNPP at Idinthakarai continued for the 19th day Saturday with the MDMK leader Vaiko participating in the fast.

According to Pushparayan, around 8,000 people gathered at Idinthakarai.

He said anti-nuclear plant protests were held at Coimbatore and Tirunelveli.

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