Experts explain safety measures; urge them to create awareness

Drawing youngsters' attention towards acute power crisis faced by Tamil Nadu, hundreds of school students have been roped in to be ‘ambassadors' for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and support commissioning of the project at the earliest.

By explaining the advanced safety features of nuclear plant to students, a movement to mobilise public opinion in a big way began here on Friday through a public interest initiative of Velammal Educational Trust.

Senior officials from Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant have been invited to speak to students and create awareness among them at the two-day Nuclear Energy Educational Meet (NEEM-2012) at the Velammal College of Engineering and Technology on March 2 and 3.

After making the students realise the State's power shortage and how a 2,000-MW nuclear power plant, which is ready, could not be commissioned due to “vested interests and selfish individuals,” an appeal was made to send telegrams to the Chief Minister demanding the immediate commissioning of KKNPP.

The advanced safety systems installed in Kudankulam and how the nuclear plant could withstand earthquake or tsunami besides the radiation proof design were explained by R.S. Sundar, Station Director, KKNPP, to students of various schools.

Initiating students into the movement, M.V. Muthuramalingam, chairman, Velammal Group of Educational Institutions, said that students were the best route to generate public opinion in support of the nuclear plant and defeat the ‘vested interests' of persons who were behind the protests.

“Electricity is the basic need for your studies, sleep and health. Students are the right ambassadors in this burning issue and through them we can reach out to their parents, relatives and friends. Thousands of Velammal students will be in this movement,” he said.

Mr. Sundar urged the students to trust what the scientific community had been vouching on Kudankulam plant's safety.

Allaying fears

Allaying fears and “wrong information” spread among people on radiation, Mr. Sundar clarified that even if a person lived close to the plant all the 365 days for 20 years continuously, he would have only radiation of just whatever came in one chest x-ray.

N. Suresh Kumar, Principal, Velammal College of Engineering and Technology, said that the objective of NEEM was to give factual information to youth and general public about Kudankulam plant at a time when the State was reeling under severe power shortage.

“On the one side, people are feeling frustrated and discomfort due to power cuts while there is one group making a hue and cry about the safety of nuclear energy,” he added.

Shyam Prakash Gupta, chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry-Madurai, said that power crisis would have deep impact on economy since it created losses for industries/enterprises and would lead to unemployment.

“If a nuclear power plant that is ready is not put to use, we would miss a golden opportunity. Tamil Nadu may slip down several notches due to power shortage. With the Central Government indicating that the power generated at Kudankulam can be taken by our State, it is time to build public opinion in support of commissioning it,” he said.

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Security in Kudankulam reviewedMarch 2, 2012