Five-member team camping at Anu Vijay Township hoping for positive response
A five-member Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) team, which has been camping at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project's Anu Vijay township for the past five days, is unable to enter the KKNPP site for carrying out mandatory inspection owing to the anti-nuke group's ban imposed on the movement of men and material into the project site.
Since the KKNPP administration's repeated appeal to revenue and police officers on allowing the experts from Mumbai inside the plant are yet to yield any positive reply, the experts, hoping for an early and encouraging response, are now confined to the Anu Vijay township campus.
As per the procedures of AERB, the vital components of the nuclear reactors and allied sections should be examined by a team of its experts at regular intervals before and after commissioning of the plant. To fulfil this obligation, five experts from Mumbai reached Anu Vijay township on February 13 and went to the KKNPP site the same day.
“On entering the road leading to the main entrance of the plant, a group of anti-nuke protestors waiting there intercepted the experts' vehicles and asked them to show their identity cards, abused them verbally and forced them to retreat,” said a CISF jawan, who had come to the main road to have a cup of tea.
Confirming it, M. Balasubramanian, president, KKNPP Employees' Union, alleged that the workers, who came out of the plant site on February 15 around 10 p.m. in a bus, were stopped by a group of anti-KKNPP protestors and abused verbally.
He alleged that seven containers, all carrying components for the reactors, were forced to return to the Anu Vijay township. “All these seven containers are still lying on our township premises.”
Denying the allegations, anti-KKNPP struggle committee member S. Sivasubramanian said that District Collector R. Selvaraj recently contacted the struggle committee members to get their permission for the entry of the AERB experts inside the plant.
“Since the AERB experts' inspection and subsequent clearance will certainly allow the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited to go ahead with the commissioning of the first reactor, we refused to allow them inside the plant in addition to the 120 personnel now going inside the premises to carry out mandatory maintenance works. Unable to get a favourable reply from the Collector, the KKNPP administration is involved in mudslinging,” said Mr. Sivasubramanian.