Work of central panel on Kudankulam over: Convenor

January 31st, 2012 - 11:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 31 (IANS) Giving a clean chit to the Indian nuclear establishment and certifying that the Russian reactors in the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) are safe to operate, the 15-member central government-appointed panel has completed its job, said its convener Tuesday.

However, an organisation representing the people opposing the project said that they were not convinced by the central panel.

The fourth round of talks between the central and state panel slated Tuesday at Tirunelveli did not take place as members of the latter were assaulted outside the meeting venue by activists of an Hindu outfit.

“We have completed our job. In our latest report we have proved the calculations and observations, interpretations and statistics presented by the anti-nuclear activists are wrong. There is no need for our panel to discuss any thing more with the anti nuclear activists,” the central panel’s convenor A.E.Muthunayagam told IANS over phone.

He said the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) and others can take their report to allay the fears of the people.

“If at all there is any additional clarification needed on the safety of the KNPP then the exper concerned would come and clear the doubts. The full panel need not meet,” Muthunayagam asserted.

PMANE’s co-ordinator S.P.Udayakumar however told IANS: “We have no faith in the talks. None of the questions we had asked were answered and the documents we had asked were not presented to us. Meanwhile, our members have been assaulted when they had gone to participate in the talks. We are calling off our talks.

India’s nuclear power plant operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai.

Villagers of Kudankulam, Idinthakarai and others fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident.

Their agitation, led by PMANE, had put a stop to the project work, delaying the commissioning of the first unit slated last month.

To resolve the issue, the central and state governments had set up two panels to allay the fears of the people.

The central panel, in its latest report, concluded that the Russian reactors in Kudankulam are safe to operate and the atomic power project complies with all safety regulations and the group finds that it is not in a position to proceed further.

“EG (expert group) has conclusively addressed all safety related issues to allay the fears in the mind of local people living around KNPP. Since the representatives of people in the joint forum are not prepared for any presentation from experts in EG and discussions, EG finds that it is not in a position to proceed further,” the Muthunayagam panel concluded in its report.

According to the report, the expert group critically examined the views expressed by PMANE’s panel of experts and found that the KNPP has received all the required clearances and “…meets will all meets with all current safety requirements and is safe for operation”.

“Without appreciating the advanced design features in the VVER 1000 reactor and associated development efforts, it is unfortunate that references and conclusions are made based on 50 years old VVER designs. The aim appears to be to mislead the public,” the central panel said, rapping PMANE and its panel of experts.

The central panel also termed many of the statements by PMANE and its experts relating to radioactive releases and hot water discharge by KNPP are based on biases and not on facts to create a sense of fear in the minds of local public.

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