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Updated: March 21, 2012 19:07 IST

Kalam moots nuclear safety institute

S. Vijay Kumar
Comment (7)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
A.P.J.Abdul Kalam
A.P.J.Abdul Kalam

Welcoming the decision of the Tamil Nadu government to go ahead with the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said: “I visualise that Kudankulam will be known to the world in another 10 years from now as the greatest nuclear power complex in a single area.” He said the Central and State governments could do a lot to bring prosperity to the region and he had already given a road map for the same.

Mr. Kalam, who played a crucial role in breaking the ice between the Centre and the State during the impasse over the project by visiting the site, co-authoring an article in The Hindu and presenting a detailed plan for the development of the region, suggested that a nuclear safety institute could be set up at Kudankulam, to take up research on nuclear power plants located in coastal areas around the world to provide vital feedback on sensitive issues.

Answering questions from The Hindu by email, the former President said universities in Tirunelveli could introduce courses in nuclear power and allied subjects...Excerpts from the interview Mr. Kalam gave to S. Vijay Kumar.

Q: The Government of Tamil Nadu has finally cleared the way for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP). Since you strongly advocated that the plant be commissioned, what is your reaction?

A: Nuclear power is very important for meeting our energy independence programme, which calls for progressive reduction of the use of fossil fuel, which is detrimental to our environment. I visualise Kudankulam area will be known to the world in another 10 years from now as the greatest nuclear power complex in a single area. Simultaneously, it is essential for Tamil Nadu and the nation to make progress in electricity generation through wind power and solar power in different parts of the country.

Q: A special package of Rs. 500 crore has been rolled out for the development of local people. What kind of development would you suggest and would you reiterate your suggestion to the Prime Minister to allocate funds (special package) under the 11th plan to the KKNPP area?

A: I have already discussed a road map. Definitely the State government and the Central government have all the capacity to bring prosperity and peace for the people of Kudankulam.

Q: You visited the KKNPP site and explained to the people on the safety of the plant. Do you think scientists and other officials in the KKNPP should have some kind of community interaction to boost the confidence of the local people?

A: I have a suggestion. A nuclear safety institute can be created in the Kudankulam area for continuous research on the safety aspects of coast-based nuclear power plants in the country and abroad. The world has today 546 nuclear plants generating electricity. Their experience is being continuously researched and feedback should be provided to all. Nuclear scientists have to interact with the people of the nation and academic institutions continuously to update nuclear power generation technology and safety.

Q: What is your message to those protesting against the concept of nuclear power in general and the KKNPP in particular?

A: We should remember that there are nations which meet more than 30 to 60% of their power requirements through the nuclear power system. Their experiences have been absorbed in our nuclear power programmes. People of Kudankulam area are fortunate to have two nuclear power plants with total 2000 MW capacity and a potential to increase this capacity, which will lead to the prosperity of the entire Tirunelveli and its neighbouring region.

Q: How do you think the KKNPP can help the youth of Tirunelveli in their career?

A: I visualise universities in Tirunelveli district start a graduate programme in nuclear power science, nuclear power safety and nuclear power grid transmission. I also suggest creation of an institution for providing special skills in nuclear technology so that they will become available for all nuclear power plants in the country.

Werner Heisenberg, a scientist of far greater stature than Dr.Kalam, strove, contrary to his convictions and denying his abilities, to convince Hitler of the impossibility of the nuclear bomb. Dr.Kalam has done just the reverse, when he could easily have side-stepped the issue and kept his reputation intact in future history. A pity.

from:  Arvind R.
Posted on: Mar 22, 2012 at 00:55 IST

India is in dire need for such projects those will make India powerful and reach. Nuclear energy is the world's largest source of emission-free energy. Nuclear power plants produce no controlled air pollutants, such as sulfur and particulates, or greenhouse gases. The use of nuclear energy in place of other energy sources helps to keep the air clean, preserve the Earth's climate, avoid ground-level ozone formation and prevent acid rain. Of all energy sources, nuclear energy has perhaps the lowest impact on the environment, including water, land, habitat, species, and air resources.

from:  Yogi
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 23:47 IST

Bravo Dr Kalam. You are living upto your vision for India! Such endorsements from Dr. Kalam add tremendously to India's push to replace our huge reliance on fossil fuels for power generation.The seriousness of this issue is compounded by the uncertainty and costs of imported fuels from the Middle East. India should move fast to increase Nuclear Power and also secure the expertise to develop shale gas and oil. All this requires development of new technologies and India is extremely fortunate in having a Dr. Kalam to champion these.

from:  sridhar
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 21:13 IST

The idea of nuclear safety institute is good. This way education,research will increase and feasibility of advancements at the time of requirement will be huge.Education and development will go hand in hand.

from:  Anoop
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 18:56 IST

The course in nuclear safety, nuclear power transmission etc will go a long way as suggested by Dr. Kalam. The energy needs of the State can be met to a substantial extent by KKNPP. The Govt should take initiative in establishing institutes suggested by Dr. Kalam. This will bring awareness about NPP, and the local talent will be able to find worthy jobs at the NPPs.

from:  ravi bhangaonkar
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 16:55 IST

If nuclear power plant is safe, what is the necessity of creating a
Nuclear Safety Institute? Compared to the effects of using fossil fuels,
the radiation emitted from the nuclear power plant is highly dangerous
which causes fatal diseases. If any disaster happens, Nuclear power
plant will cause a colossal destruction to mankind. Dr Kalam's answers
are not at all satisfactory.

from:  jeaseelan
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 16:10 IST

well said sir..

from:  Ratheesh
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 15:54 IST
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