‘Anti-nuke lobby seems to be winning the battle’

MR Srinivasan said people must realise that power from Koodankulam project (KNPP) would benefit the southern region.

Bangalore: A key member of the Indian
nuclear establishment on Friday cautioned that if protestors of
Koodankulam project in Tamil Nadu succeed in their objective,
the country`s entire nuclear programme could be in jeopardy.

"..if they (protestors in Koodankulam) are able to succeed,
then they can succeed in shutting down the entire nuclear
programme and the loser is the country, not the rest of the
world. Rest of the world will look after them", Member
of the Atomic Energy Commission MR Srinivasan told PTI.

His warning came even as the protest by locals against the
Koodankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu`s
Tirunelveli district entered the 100th day yesterday.

Srinivasan, a former Secretary to the Department of Atomic
Energy, said the "anti-nuclear movement" in the country has
become "very strong with lot of support from elsewhere".

"It seems they (anti-nuclear lobby) are winning the
battle", he said.

Srinivasan said "anti-nuclear people are working in an
orchestrated way" in Koodankulam. "They are all joining up
together...anti-nuclear people in the United States,
Australia, Finland, Germany".

"It`s orchestrated completely. Why should school children
sit (in protest) morning to evening? Do they understand the
issues involved? They have been told by their parents, they
have been told by some religious leaders. So, it (the protest)
goes on".

Srinivasan argued that rest of the world -- he named
China, Korea and Russia in particular -- are moving ahead in
the nuclear field, while the United States has not stopped
operating its 100-plus reactors.

"Indians should be concerned about their progress",
Srinivasan said, adding, the country should not pay heed to
what someone else is saying.

He said it`s high time the Tamil Nadu government takes
an active position in the matter.

"The experts` group has given answers to all the questions
and they have explained that fears are unfounded. It`s now for
the state government to move".

Srinivasan said people must realise that power from
Koodankulam project (KNPP) would benefit the southern region
of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and support it.

"After all, power supply will not help some people sitting
in Delhi", he said.

"Now, both the State government and Central government
must take stock of the situation. We can`t allow investment of
some Rs 14,000 crore or about three billion (US) dollars to
remain idle. We are not a rich country".

"This stalemate should end. Otherwise, how do you justify
Rs 14,000 crore investment"", he asked.

The KNPP, an Indo-Russian joint venture, has run into
trouble with locals demanding scrapping of the project, citing
safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

PTI

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