AEC chief Kakodkar downplays terror threat

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Kolkata, Nov 17 (ANI): Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman Anil Kakodkar has said work on India's nuclear programmes will continue as usual despite media reports of the country's nuclear power plants being placed on alert and being made more secure to prevent a terror strike.

Talking to reporters here, Kakodkar said: " The country's programme will continue in accordance with the national needs or in an autonomous manner. We are talking about international civil nuclear cooperation and whatever we get out of civil nuclear cooperation that will be under IAEA safeguards. So, we promised that whatever will come from outside will be used for civilian purposes and it will have nothing to do with our other three stages or strategic programme, which will happen on our own strength."

As locals continue to protest against the proposed coastal nuclear power plant at Haripur in West Bengal's East Midnapore district, Kakodkar said the plant will not come up there if the people don't want it.

"We will try to have the problem settled amicably. But we will not do anything against the wishes of the people. If they don't want the plant to come up there, it won't come up," he added.

The Central Government had on October 16 awarded the contract to build the power plant in Haripur station to the Russian state-owned firm Atomstroyexport. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) is planning to begin civil construction work by 2010.

Besides Haripur, similar plants are slated to come up at Berhampore in Orissa, Mithirvirdi in Gujarat and Kowada in Andhra Pradesh. One 'on-land' park would also come up in Haryana and Madhya Pradesh. (ANI)

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