KNPP: Panel Member Endorses Central Group Findings

KNPP: Panel Member Endorses Central Group Findings
Virtually endorsing the 15-member Central expert group's findings giving the thumbs up to stir- hit Kudankulam nuclear project, senior atomic scientist and state panel member on the issue M R Srinivasan has said all concerns of locals over safety aspects have been answered.

"We have reviewed all concerns raised by the protestors in our report. We also analysed the central expert group committee's report, which has answered all 44 questions raised by protestors. We found the report satisfactory," Srinivasan, former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, told PTI.

Srinivasan, who is on the four-member committee set up by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to break the over five month-long impasse caused by anti-nuclear stir, said the Central expert group had answered all questions raised by the locals.

He, however, declined to divulge details of the report submitted by the state committee recently to Jayalalithaa.

Srinivasan's endorsement of the central group's findings is significant as it indicates that both the committees are on the same wave length on the issue, which is expected to give a push for the stalled Indo-Russian project, originally slated for commissioning in December last year.

The Central expert group, which held several rounds of talks with leaders spearheading the agitation, had stated categorically on January 31 that it had "conclusively addressed" all safety related issues to allay fears in the minds of locals around the plant in coastal Kudankulam.

"We have answered all their queries. There were some questions which were irrelevant to the issue like the clearance from Pollution Control Board and things. Our job was to clear all doubts in their minds on plant's safety. We have done that in detail in our report," A E Muthunayagam, Convenor of the Central panel, told PTI today.

Srinivasan had earlier said the state-of-the-art safety features incorporated in the KNPP reactors had made them a "third generation plus" reactors.

"In conclusion, the EG (Expert Group) would like to state that based on its extensive examination of various issues, there should be no cause for concern about the safety of KKNPP," Muthunayagam had said earlier.

The EG report had said "it meets all current safety requirements and is safe for operation" and slammed the anti-nuclear protesters for 'creating fear' in the minds of the public and linking it to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year.

As the stalemate persists and Tamil Nadu continues to reel under a severe power shortage crisis, Jayalalithaa has given no indication so far on her government's thinking on the issue even after receiving the state panel's report.

The state cabinet last week reportedly discussed the issue but no official word has been said on the matter so far.

Highlighting the gravity of the power crisis, Jayalalithaa today wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention for an additional allocation of 1,000 MW of power to the state, assuring her "continued goodwill and cooperation".
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