TAMIL NADU

“KKNPP has state-of-the-art safety features”

Asserting that “third generation plus” safety features had been incorporated in the reactors of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy on Sunday said the first 1,000 MWe reactor would start generating power by December-end.

He told reporters that the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), which were keen on guaranteeing the safety and security of the people living around the KKNPP site, had ensured the incorporation of state-of-the-art seven-tier safety features in the reactors.

He alleged that a group of people with ulterior motive had launched a false propaganda among the locals about the project to trigger panic. Some of the non-governmental organisations, which were getting funds from a few foreign countries, were involved in the campaign.

“Since we want to bail out the power-starved Tamil Nadu to the maximum possible extent by providing 465 MWe power from the first reactor, we intend to expedite the commissioning of the project. As final round of tests and inspections are to be completed within the next few days, power generation by the first reactor would begin before December-end,” Mr. Narayanasamy said.

He said the unallocated power from the first reactor could be given to Tamil Nadu if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided to do so.

On the NPCIL’s expansion programme, Mr. Narayanasamy said the States of Maharashtra (6 reactors X 1,600 MWe), Haryana (4 X 1,000 MWe), Madhya Pradesh (5 X 1,000 MWe) and Rajasthan (4 X 1,000 MWe) would get the atomic power stations in future as work in this direction had already commenced.

He said the Union government, which had already allowed Rs. 500 crore for carrying out development works in the villages around KKNPP, had deposited Rs. 1,500 crore to carryout rehabilitation measures in case of any mishap.

The Union Minister reiterated that the Centre’s decision to allow Foreign Direct Investment in the multi-brand retail sector would ensure huge investment in the country within a short period while ensuring better procurement price for the agricultural produce and cold storage facilities.

Meanwhile, the police have started deploying around 2,000 personnel around KKNPP in view of the protesters plan to hold sea-based agitation on Monday.

Policemen drawn from various southern districts have been deployed on the roads leading to KKNPP from neighbouring villages.