Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Srikumar Banerjee said here on Thursday that only a small group of people was opposing the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.
“You are seeing only the opposition part of it. If you see that how many people are wanting it that you are not counting. That is much more,” he told presspersons at Mangalore University.
Mr. Banerjee said Tamil Nadu faced a shortage of 1,000 MW. The proposed plant would generate 925 MW. The small group's opposition was “almost like a religious activity, like a believer in it” with no proper thinking. “Don't count the number” (of those opposing it), he said.
There was need for an “extensive programme of outreaching” to convince people on the need for the plant. The government was doing it. Experts from universities and other institutes have addressed issues of seismicity associated with it. Experts from the fisheries sector had addressed the concerns raised by the fishing community people.
All nuclear reactors in the country were either in Seismic Zone Two or Three. Hence there was no need for unnecessary apprehension.
There was no proper evidence to state that nuclear reactors were resulting in additional increase in cancer cases, he said.
The culprits behind mixing radioactive substance tritium in drinking water at the Kaiga Atomic Power Station in 2009 are yet to be identified, he said.
The police were investigating into it. “It was a criminal act by miscreants.”
Mr. Banerjee, who is also Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, said the police were provided with technical expertise in the investigation.
About 55 workers were affected after drinking the tritium mixed water, but they recovered.
Earlier, Mr. Banerjee received an honorary doctorate from Karnataka Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda at the 30th convocation of the university.