People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy to lay siege to township tomorrow
The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project has “successfully completed” the mandatory penultimate tests before commissioning its first unit by testing an array of steam relief valves under operating pressure and temperature.
The tests, started on last Friday to evaluate the performance of high-precision steam relief valves at operating pressure and temperature, were completed on Monday. “We’re immensely satisfied with the performance of the valves as they behaved really well,” said KKNPP Site Director R.S. Sundar.
The next step is to start the testing of hi-tech instruments associated with the steam relief valves under the operating pressure and temperature, which is expected to last till Thursday.
Since the release of steam from the first unit of KKNPP created thunderous noise, it triggered rumours among the public, especially in the coastal hamlets around the project site. To clear the air, Mr. Sundar in a statement said that as part of the commissioning tests of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP), Unit 1, steam relief valves on the steam lines were tested during the day time and only steam, that is, water vapour was released as part of the test.
“No tests are harmful to the environment and the public living in and around the project site. Even as these tests were going on, as part of the public awareness programme, around 325 schoolchildren and 90 persons from the neighbouring villages visited the KKNPP premises. Around 1,000 NPCIL employees are attending office every day during this testing period and around 3,000 contract employees are at work. All the works are being taken up with utmost safety after informing the officials concerned,” Mr. Sundar said.
Meanwhile, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), in a statement, said its activists would lay siege to the Anu Vijay Township, the residential complex of the KKNPP workers and engineers at Chettikulam, on Wednesday to protest against the ongoing tests.
Terming the tests as “risky course of action”, the statement said “black fumes with unpleasant odour” were being released by the KKNPP with thunderous noise, which had caused untold hardship to the children, aged and pregnant women.
“Since the KKNPP administration is conducting these tests without imparting disaster management training to the locals, the PMANE decided to lay siege to Anu Vijay Township on April 3,” the statement said.
As the protesters from Idinthakarai will have to cross the KKNPP project site to reach Anu Vijay Township , security is likely to be beefed from Tuesday.