Expert panel to meet TN committee on Koodankulam issue

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Koodankulam nuclear plant protest
Chennai, Dec 14: The committees set up by Central and Tamil Nadu governments over the Koodankulam nuclear power plant issue would meet for the third time in Tirunelveli tomorrow to discuss the concerns of locals protesting against the Indo-Russian project.

"We are meeting them tomorrow for the third time. In our estimation, we have answers to all their possible concerns. We are prepared for any of their new queries as well. Let's see what they ask for," A E Muthunayagam, head of the 15-member Central Expert Committee, told PTI.

The previous two meetings of the committees on November 7 and 18 had failed to break the impasse as representatives of the agitators wanted more information and documents relating to their safety concerns. The members of the central committee have been holding discussions since yesterday in Kanyakumari.

W Stephen Aruldoss Kanthaiah, a member of the committee, told reporters in Kanyakumari today that the team members had prepared a report and were ready to answer any additional queries during the meeting to be held in the presence of Tirunelveli District Collector.

The central committee was set up to allay fears of the locals over the nuclear power plant after the prolonged protests delayed the commissioning of the reactor scheduled for this month to March next year. Only essential maintenance operations were underway at the plant.

Asserting that the nuclear fuel was yet to be loaded in the reactor and testing had been completed with dummy fuel rods, Kanthaiah said only after obtaining necessary permission from concerned authorities uranium would be loaded.

Referring to closure of atomic power stations in some foreign countries, including Germany, he said developed countries had sufficient sources to generate power while it was not the case with developing nations who need atomic power for growth.

PTI

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