: Minutes after the Supreme Court verdict allowing the commissioning of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, a group of children from coastal hamlets in the district submitted a petition to Collector C. Samayamoorthy, appealing to him to close down the nuclear project, “as it has been established with substandard components supplied by a Russian firm”.

In the petition, the children said the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited had admitted that it had procured steam generators, mechanical filter, moisture separator and re-heater, boric solution storage tanks, regenerative blow-down heat exchanger, pipelines and fittings of different systems, insulation materials and passive heat removal system exchanger from a Russian firm.

“The procurement director of this Russian firm was arrested recently for procuring substandard low-cast raw materials for fabricating reactor components. Moreover, the director of another Russian firm has also been arrested for supplying reactor components of inferior quality. The Reactor Pressure Vessel of the reactor, supplied by a Russian company, has a weld in its middle portion,” the petitioners said. The cables, valves and pumps, supplied by a Czech firm, should also be scrutinised.

“Against this backdrop, the KKNPP should be closed down permanently. Instead, it can be converted into a power project using renewable energy sources,” the children said, seeking withdrawal of cases registered against the protestors.

In another petition, S. Johnson, president of Idinthakarai village committee, said the operation of buses to Idinthakarai, Kooththenkuzhi, Koottapuli and Perumanal had been stopped in view of the anti-KKNPP agitations “though no protestor damaged the buses”.

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