KNP project a necessity to solve TN power crisis

New Delhi: Pitching for the speedy implementation of the stalled Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project, top scientist and former director of IGCAR Baldev Raj on Tuesday said the plant was a "necessity" to solve the current power crisis in Tamil Nadu.

"Koodankulam is a very advanced project. Even in the case of an accident all necessary safety measures have been taken.

Locals, who are protesting against the project, must realise the project is a necessity to solve the current power crisis in Tamil Nadu," said Raj.

The academician, who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, said he saw no reason for locals to be scared as safety measures at the plant were "fool-proof".

"Natural and man-made disasters can`t be ruled out at the site, but I can assure you that all safety measures are in place," Raj, for director of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam, said.

He said the nuclear fraternity was ready to engage in discussions with anti-KNPP protesters to allay their fears.

Work at the power plant, an Indo-Russian venture, has been stalled for over two months now in the wake of protests by locals citing safety concerns.

"No one can prevent accidents. They are bound to happen. The focus should now be on how to mitigate them. Emergency plans have been made. There is no reason to fear," Raj said.

Pointing out that India`s experience of nuclear disasters was negligible in comparison to countries like the US, Russia and Japan, he said the country`s "clean nuclear record history" was because of frequent monitoring done by regulatory bodies and scientists of the country.

"We are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of locals as safety is improtant for sustainability," he said.

"There are other nuclear sites in the country as well, where people have been carrying on with their lives with no problem at all. Anti-KNPP protesters must take a leaf out of their books," he added.