Chennai

“Kudankulam will give power for 4 million people”

R. Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to the Government of India with SRM University Chancellor T. R. Pachamuthu and Vice-Chancellor M. Ponnavaikko at Kattankulathur on Tuesday.

R. Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to the Government of India with SRM University Chancellor T. R. Pachamuthu and Vice-Chancellor M. Ponnavaikko at Kattankulathur on Tuesday.  

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The Kundankulam plant has the most advanced reactor and operations and the safety design adopted is sound with “excellent regulations”, R. Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to the Government of India, said on Tuesday, stressing the role of the plant in fulfilling the country's energy needs.

Dr. Chidambaram, who was the chief guest at the Research Day celebrations at SRM University, said nuclear technology was far cleaner than other non-renewable energy sources as there is no emission of carbon dioxide. Efforts were on to help residents in the vicinity of Kudankulam understand the working of the plant so that they themselves realised how safe it was, he said. “Tarapore was a sleepy, fishing village before the atomic power plant came up, but now it is a booming town; the same will happen to Kudankulam once we get the support of the local community,” he said.

With the commissioning of the Kudankulam plant, there would be a flow of at least 950 MW of electricity into the State, which is approximately the amount consumed by four million people. “India cannot have high human development index unless we increase the per capita electricity consumption. It has to increase by least 6-8 times. The energy produced will not only go to industries and urban areas, but also to rural places, and improve, among others, sanitation and health facilities,” Dr. Chidambaram said.

Fukushima, he said, was an unfortunate, one-off incident and that it would be a mistake not to go for an energy plant just because of the mishap. Other countries have already resumed their interest in nuclear power plants. While China has two functional nuclear reactors, it has already sanctioned six more which are similar to the proposed Kudankulam plants. Bangladesh has already signed one, while the U.S.A. will have two more in Georgia shortly, Dr. Chidambaram said. Dr. Chidambaram also said the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) would soon build India's first coal-fired 800 MW Advanced Ultra Supercritical Thermal Power Plant project, one of the most ambitious projects of the Central government. The Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), BHEL and NTPC have been roped in for the project. “In two years you will have the material. Right now the R&D has started,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 6:01:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/kudankulam-will-give-power-for-4-million-people/article2943505.ece

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