PMK chief cites health hazards

PMK leader S. Ramadoss, who has been running a campaign against nuclear power plants, on Tuesday demanded the closure of the Kalpakkam Atomic Power Station by 2020, saying it was posing health hazards to people of Kancheepuram and Chennai districts.

Talking to reporters, Dr. Ramadoss said the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant should be closed immediately and no further developments such as fast breeder reactors should be allowed to come up at Kalpakkam.

“We want its closure by 2020. In one month the PMK will send a team of doctors to the villages around Kalpakkam to gather a first-hand report on the health conditions of people living there. Based on the report we will launch an awareness campaign against nuclear power plants. Our motto is a nuclear energy-free Tamil Nadu.”

Asked what he wanted Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to do on the Kudankulam protests, Dr. Ramadoss said that she should take a clear stand since the question of allaying fears of the local people was practically impossible.

Reeling out statistics to support his argument that nuclear power plants were both dangerous and unviable in terms of power generation, he said that nuclear energy contributed hardy 2.5 per cent of the nation's requirement. He said that a respected person such as former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam should not have visited Kudankulam and expressed views in support of nuclear power plants. “He has said that the safety of Kudankulam plant is comparatively better. Does he mean that other plants are dangerous?”

Dr. Ramadoss said India should focus on promoting solar energy and wind energy instead of investing huge money on nuclear power plants.