Nuclear Power Corp hopes Tamil Nadu will provide security

October 14th, 2011 - 12:01 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai, Oct 13 (IANS) With anti-nuclear power activists stopping employees of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) from going to work Thursday, the Nuclear Power Corp. hoped the Tamil Nadu government would fulfill its promise of providing security to them.

Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa, however, said this would take time and was not something that could be resolved overnight.

“We have been assured safe escort of employees from the township to the project site by the district administration and police. KNPP is not like any consumer durable company where one can switch off the plant and start again,” S.K. Jain, chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), told IANS from Mumbai over phone.

“The electrical systems have to be kept running, failing which whole lot of activities have to be started all over again,” he pointed out.

The NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW-capacity nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam in Tirunelvelli district, around 650 km from here.

The first unit is expected to go on stream in December.

“All the electrical and sophisticated electronic systems have to be operated continuously. There are water systems like desalination plant that needs to function. All the systems are inter-linked and have to work in tandem continuously,” Jain said.

According to Jain, the district administration has assured support so that even the contract labourers are able to reach the project site without much trouble.

He said the workers are on the job round the clock to commission the reactor.

“There are around 150 Russians, 800 of our own staff and around 4,000 contract labours who work daily at the project site. Taking into account absenteeism, the total number of people who will be at work on any day will be around 3,000-3,500,” Jain remarked.

Jayalalithaa, queried by reporters about protestors blocking KNPP employees, said: “This is not something that can be resolved by the state government overnight. It will take time. I do not wish to make any further comments on this now because it is a very emotive issue and a controversial issue.”

Jayalalithaa said she has not received the letter from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he had cautioned her on delay of KNPP and its impact on Tamil Nadu’s progress.

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