All issues raised in the media can be addressed adequately: Srikumar Banerjee

Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman Srikumar Banerjee on Friday expressed the hope that the Union government's committee of experts and the Tamil Nadu government's panel of its nominees and spokespersons of the Kudankulam area would hold their first meeting “as early as possible” to resolve the issue of agitation against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project.

After holding discussions with Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi for over an hour at the Secretariat here, Dr. Banerjee told journalists that the convenience of members of the committee of experts had to be ascertained before fixing the date of the meeting. He and Mr. Sarangi, in their discussion, had worked out the modalities of the meeting.

Describing his meeting with Mr. Sarangi as meaningful, the AEC chairman said seismicity, tsunami, radiation around the plant, effect on livelihoods of people, fisheries and safety of the plant were issues that could be addressed scientifically.

Fears allayed

Dr. Banerjee stressed that people's fears had to be allayed. “It is a psychological issue. That is why it is not something to be rushed through. We have to, with patience, understand the real issues.”

All issues raised in the media could be addressed adequately. What was more important was that the issues had to be addressed in such a manner that the people would be able to understand and this should be done with credibility.

Examining safety

Safety issues regarding the first and second units of the project had been examined in detail. The environment impact assessment (EIA) was carried out in respect of the two units. In the case of the two additional units proposed, the EIA study was done recently.

Asked whether he would meet Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, the Chairman replied that he had made a request. He was hopeful of meeting her at the appropriate time. However, the need for meeting her did not arise now. He hastened to add that the Chief Minister was aware of what was happening.

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