It will inspect safety features in reactors till November 17

The Central panel on Tuesday began inspecting safety measures at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) and will submit an “unprejudiced report” containing only facts regarding the reactors' protective gears and their efficacy, its member and former director of the Heavy Water Board, W. Stephen Aruldoss Kanthiah, said.

“Please don't presume that the Central panel will only submit a report favouring the Union government as the experts, who will keep utmost neutrality in this assignment, will submit a fair and unbiased report,” Mr. Kanthiah told reporters at Kanyakumari before leaving for the KKNPP site.

He said that the committee members, all experts in their respective fields, who spent nearly three hours at the reactor site after the first meeting between the Central and State panels recently, would scientifically inspect the safety features incorporated in the reactors till November 17 and submit their report within three days after the end of inspection.

He said that any question regarding the possible radiation from the plant could not be answered now.

Before entering the KKNPP premises, convener of the panel and Vice-Chancellor of Noorul Islam University, Nagercoil, A.E. Muthunayagam, expressed the hope that the inspection to be carried out by the experts would dispel the apprehensions among fishermen and others living near the project site.

Though 15 members have been included in the Central Panel, only nine of them reached Kudankulam on the first day of inspection.

They are: A.E. Muthunayagam, Vice-Chancellor, Noorul Islam University, Nagercoil; M.R. Iyer, retired director, Division of Radiation Safety, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna; A.K. Pal, Professor, Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai; Kannan Iyer, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay; S.K. Mehta, retired Director, Reactor Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay; S.K. Sharma, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board; K. Balu, retired Director, Nuclear Waste Management Group, BARC; Suresh Moses Lee, Raja Ramanna Fellow, Safety Research Institute, Kalpakkam; and Mr. Kanthiah.

“More members are likely to reach here (Kudankualm) on Wednesday,” said the Central panel's coordinator, Daniel Chellappa.