No Russians leaving the project: KNPP Director

Chennai: :None of the over 150 Russian scientists working at the Indo-Russian joint venture Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant have left due to the ongoing protests by anti-KNPP activists, a top official said here today.

"No Russian scientist is going back. They are all working with us in the project. There are over 150 Russians in the plant and none of them are going back," M Kasinath Balaji, Project Director, Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant told PTI. All the Russian scientists-some living alone, some with families,others with long and short-term assignments are working for the Indo-Russian joint venture, he said. He was replying to a query on a recent media report that some Russian scientists were leaving the project due to the agitation.

The first of the 2×1000 MWE reactors are expected to be ready for commercial operation by December 2011 and the other by August 2012. More than 99 per cent work in the first reactor and 93 per cent in the second are over, according to Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited.

Anti-KNPP activists after suspending their stir for two days in view of the civic polls, resumed their relay fast here on October 18, demanding that the project be scrapped. The Centre had on Thursday announced the constitution of a 15-member group of experts to clear "misconceptions" about KNPP hit by agitation. This follows Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s statement on Oct 19 that the committee promised by him to convince stakeholders in the project would be set up.