TN govt to constitute expert panel on Koodankulam

Chennai: With efforts to break the logjam over the Koodankulam Nuclear power plant hitting a dead-end, Tamil Nadu Government has decided to constitute an expert panel to look into the "fears and concerns" of locals over the project.

Making this announcement in the Assembly today, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said the expert panel would soon submit its report to the state government. Based on the report, the Government will take further action, she said.

The move by the government comes in the backdrop of both Central expert committee and the anti-nuclear activists ruling out further talks on the controversial Indo-Russian project.

The 15-member expert group (EG), set up by the Centre, stated categorically last week that it had "conclusively addressed" all safety related issues to allay the fears in the minds of local people living around the plant in the coastal Koodankulam.

"Since the representatives of people in the joint forum are not prepared for any presentation from experts (of Central expert group) and discussions, EG finds that it is not in a position to proceed further," Muthunayagam, Chairman of the Expert Group had said.

S P Udayakumar, Convenor of People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the five-month long protest, had said, "We are not going to engage in talks anymore. Muthunagayam (Central) Committee is a farce".