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Veteran scientist Baldev Raj vouches for safety of Kudankulam nuclear plant

New Delhi, Wed, 29 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 29 (ANI): Veteran scientist and director of India's Kalpakkam nuclear project, Dr. Baldev Raj, has vouched for the safety of the controversial Kudankulam plant in Tamil Nadu by calling it 'one of the world's safest reactors.'


"If you make a list, the Kudankulam nuclear plant will certainly be among one of the most advanced and safest reactors in the world today. We have implemented all provisions that we feel are required to prevent any accident or disaster in the plant. We have also revised and revisited the existing norms after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. All this has been done by specially-appointed committees and the regulatory body," Raj told media here after a seminar.


Over the last few months, Kudankulam has been at the epicentre of a wave of heated protests, with environmental activists and agitators voicing their ire at the Central Government's apathy towards the dangers posed by the plant.


Despite repeated assurances, irate locals have stepped up their protests in the past few weeks, aiming to ratchet up pressure on the government to shutdown the Kudankulam project, fearing a possible recurrence of the recent disaster witnessed in the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.


Raj also appealed to activists to visit other projects such as Kalpakkam to see whether any harm had been caused to the people living there.


"We urge people agitating against the Kudankulam plant and the Jaitapur project to come to the nuclear facilities operating in Kalpakkam, Tarapur and Kaiga, and tell us what safety provision have we not followed there. Are the people living and working in and around these nuclear plants not happy and satisfied? Have their lives not improved? Are they suffering? They have only gained," said Raj.


Raj further said that there is an urgent need for India to tap nuclear power to meet its growing energy requirements.


"See, it is not possible to generate much energy without nuclear power. The power generated by solar or wind energy projects, is one megawatt, two megawatt, five megawatt. However, in the case of nuclear energy, with even six reactors, nearly 6000 megawatt power can be generated. In Jaitapur, one reactor alone produces 1250 megawatt energy. Six reactors of Jaitapur can produce 7500 megawatt power. You see the difference? This country needs a lot of power, if it wishes to grow at 8 percent. In many places of India, there is still no electricity. We have to provide energy in those areas. However, all this must go hand in hand with safety," said Raj.


India has a total installed power generation capacity of 164 gigawatts (GW) and aims to raise it to 187 GW by the end of March 2012.


There are 20 reactors in operation at six power plants, generating over 4,000 megawatts of electricity, while five other plants are under construction. (ANI)


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