The 15-member expert committee set up to allay the fears over Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant on Saturday met here for the first time to discuss its future course of action even as the relay fast by locals demanding scrapping of the project entered the twelfth day.

“Thirteen members met three top officials of Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). It was only an introductory meeting to discuss the future course of action,” Department of Atomic Energy sources said.

During the meeting, the DAE presented before the members three memoranda detailing the department’s stand and that of the protesters, background data and basic issues to be addressed. The expert panel also have asked NPCIL to provide certain data for their reference, the sources told PTI.

The DAE officials who met the committee members included Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee and NPCIL Chairman S K Jain. A former Union Secretary and another expert from IIT Bombay could not attend the meeting, since they had prior commitments, they said.

The panel has tentatively planned to meet again on November 7.

Earlier, Mr. Banerjee said “minimum activity” was necessary to maintain the KNPP’s “health” and future.

Since the hot run was over at the Power Plant I at Kudankulam which had come “very close to completion,” the cooling system needs to continue in circulation, he said on his arrival at the airport here.

“The coolant should not be allowed to stagnate as it will create problem in future. Minimum maintenance activity is required for the health of the plant and its future,” he said.

The Indo-Russian joint venture in Thirunelveli district has run into trouble following protests from locals demanding its scrapping, citing safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March last year.

Despite assurance from scientists and the state government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s announcement of an expert team to allay their fears, the protesters have not relented and are continuing their stir.

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