The park is part of a plan to set up a science centre beyond the plant boundaries.

A butterfly park in close proximity to the Kudankulam nuclear power plant may sound absurd but that may soon be a reality.

The park is part of a detailed proposal the Kerala State Science and Technology Museum (KSSTM) is currently working on for Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL). The proposal was to set up a science centre just beyond the boundaries of the plant at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.

The outreach and public relations wing of NPCIL has envisaged the centre as an ‘educative experience’ which will dispel misconceptions about the plant. It will also focus on the state-of-the-art safety mechanisms in place at the plant. On Wednesday, seven engineers from the KSSTM took a tour of the plant to see for themselves the features that supposedly qualified the plant as well equipped to face any adverse situations.

Museum

A blueprint of the centre showed the ground floor as an information centre and the first floor would be a museum with working models, posters, and other exhibits that would explain to the visitor the basic scientific principles of heat transfer and the process of nuclear fission inside the reactor. The stress would be on the machinery inside the plant, power generation, and the minimal residue output, sources said.

MoU

The KSSTM may submit the proposal to NPCIL this month, and, if approved, a memorandum of understanding would be signed between the two agencies. “Apart from models, we are also considering a simulator to allow visitors to watch on a big screen the functioning of the plant and what exactly will happen if a Fukushima-like situation happens,” KSSTM director Arul Jerald Prakash said.

Cyril Babu, of the KSSTM, said the silence inside the plant took even the delegation by surprise. “Around 500 MW of power was being generated but it was as if there was no activity,” he said.

NPCIL had previously come up with a publication ‘‘Seven Edens and 70 Fairies’’ that portrayed the rich biodiversity around nuclear plants. Another round of discussions would be held between the KSSTM and NPCIL before the latter decided on the budget.