Nuclear Power Corporation of India holds national workshop on disaster mitigation

If India was to fulfil the dream of becoming a developed nation by 2020, availability of adequate power was vital and nuclear power had an important role to play in this regard, said K. Manimekalai, Vice-Chancellor of Mother Teresa Women’s University, Kodaikanal.

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) , would provide the much-needed electricity to fuel economic development, she said while addressing a workshop on ‘Disaster mitigation with particular reference to nuclear power plants’ organised here on Friday by Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Institution of Engineers (India), Madurai Local Centre.

The massive proliferation of consumer appliances in homes had increased dependence of people on electricity. At a time when neighbouring countries such as China were developing fast, India had no choice but to develop at a rapid pace to compete.

With Tamil Nadu already being power deficient and in the throes of a major power crisis, it needed the KKNPP more than ever. Terming the nuclear plant as safe, she came down heavily on the anti-KKNPP protestors and said that a few groups did not have the right to block the development of the entire society. While power production through thermal plants was being presented as an alternative, Dr. Manimekalai pointed out that nuclear plants do not emit green house gases which were causing great damage to the ozone layer. She urged students and industrialists to spread awareness regarding the issue and dispel various wrong notions.

Radiation omnipresent

Speaking earlier, S. Kalirajan, Additional Chief Engineer, KKNPP, said that radiation was omnipresent in the atmosphere and posed a threat only when it exceeded a threshold. While all nuclear plants emit radiation, the industry was equipped to reduce the emission and its impact on the environment. The two worst accidents occurred at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and Chernobyl in the erstwhile Soviet Union. While there were no deaths in the former case, the latter claimed around 30 lives, which showed preparedness of the industry to mitigate the effects of any accident.

W. Stephen Aruldoss Kanthiah, who was in the Centre's 15-member expert panel on KKNPP and a retired Director (Operations) of Heavy Water Board; R. S. Sundar, Senior Director, KKNPP; S. Venkatesh, Senior Commissioner Engineer, KKNPP; Ajay Dubey, Medical Officer, KKNPP; S. Deenadayalan, chairman (in charge), MLC; were among the resource persons.

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