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Minimum activity only at Koodankulam plant

Chennai: As locals continue their stir against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant demanding its closure, a top Atomic Energy Commission official today said "minimum activity" is necessary to maintain the plant`s "health" and future.

Since the hot run was over at the Power Plant I which had come "very close to completion," the cooling system needs to continue in circulation, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Srikumar Banerjee told reporters here.

"The coolant should not be allowed to stagnate as it will create problem in the future.Minimum maintenance activity is required for the health of the plant and its future," he said.

The Indo-Russian joint venture in Tirunelveli district has run into trouble following protests from locals demanding that the project be scrapped, citing safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima disaster early this year.

Despite assurance from scientists and the state government, which has now put the ball in the Centre`s court, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s announcement of an expert team to allay fears, the protesters have not relented and continued with their stir.

NPCIL Chairman S K Jain had also aired similar views yesterday, saying a nuclear power plant was not a car that could be switched on and off anytime, and that the protests were causing damage to the plant.

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