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Kalpakkam plant is safe: DAE official

Chennai: Seeking to allay concerns of anti- nuclear activists over the safety of the reactors at Kalpakkam Atomic Power Station near here, a senior Department of Atomic Energy official today said the reactors were “safe” and there was no need for any “unfounded fear”.

“People have got fear in their minds about the safety concerns. There is no need for any unfounded fear. Our reactors are safe and are much better than any industry,” Prabhat Kumar, project director, Bhavini Project in Kalpakkam Atomic Power Station tolpd PTI. He brushed aside the claims that some health issues in the vicinity are triggered due to the presence of the plant in Kalpakkam.

“There are allegations that some health problems such as thyroid and cancer are there because of this plant. There is no such thing. Doctors can prove that our plant is safe. The air, food, milk, water and everything in this area is clean and is not affected by this plant,” Kumar said. Asked about the concern about the possibility of tsunami hitting the plant, he said, “Even if that happens, we have enough time to react to it. In 2004, a 9.1 Richter scale associated tsunami hit near the plant. But, the water did not enter the plant and we were safe.”

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Admitting that the DAE had more to “explain” to the people since many were “either misinformed or not informed”, he said “we will try to spread the awareness about this”. His comments comes a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh informed a Tamil Nadu delegation that a high-level panel will look into the safety concerns of the locals around Koodankulam Nuclear Power Station under the Indo-Russian joint venture.

The delegation, that included representatives from AIADMK, Congress, CPI and Samathuva Makkal Katchi and a local committee against the Koodamkulam plant, had met Singh and expressed concern over safety of the project. Anti nuclear campaigners are also seeking “gradual phase out” of Kalpakkam nuclear project.

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