It might still be possible to salvage the situation at Kudankulam (editorial, Oct. 13) by adopting a “distance criterion” — an additional safeguard in the event of a possible mishap, which I evolved in 1985 when I was chairman of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, after the Bhopal tragedy. “Distance criterion” is the creation of a sterile zone for a radius of 15 km for nuclear stations. This was also presented to the AERB in the context of a new nuclear station in south Gujarat. It varies from industry to industry — a 10 km radius for some chemical industries, 5 km for the cement industry and 1 km for a non-polluting industry. Since Kudankulam is a fait accompli, the villages and towns could be shifted out with adequate compensation. Under this concept, even staff quarters should not be located in the sterile area. Fishermen should also be advised not to fish within this radius.

G. Sundaram,

Chennai

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