Can’t let Kudankulam plant stay idle: PM

Reiterating his stand on the safety of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, PM assured that all the safety measures have been taken care of.

Updated: Dec 18, 2011, 00:14 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

On Board Air India One: Reiterating his stand on the safety of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu, Prime Minister assured that all the safety measures have been taken care of in the project.

Talking to reporters on his way back from Russia after concluding his visit, Prime Minister said that the government has gone out of the way to assure that Kudankulam reactors are the safest available anywhere in the world.

Reacting to the ongoing agitation over the plant, Singh said, “There is a view that the Kudankulam agitation is overdone.”

The PM further said, “We cannot simply allow the Kudankulam nuclear plant to
lie idle after making an investment of Rs.14,000 crore.”

Manmohan Singh had yesterday announced in Moscow that the first unit of the project will be operationalised in a "couple of weeks".
Singh said that if the first two units of Kudankulam generate 2000 MW power, nearly 1000 MW would be availed by Tamil Nadu and the rest would be available to other states in the South.

The PM made the remarks when asked about his hopes of operationalising the plant when the ground realities are different.

Singh said, "There are difficulties, there are some people who are worried about the safety of nuclear reactors and we have gone out of our way to assure as much as we can that the nuclear reactors that are being put up at Kudankulam are the safest available in the world."

"I am confident that ultimately good sense will prevail, politics is sometime I think too murky. In the final analysis, I am confident that sense prevails and will prevail in this case," Singh said.

Noting that a group of 15 experts has been appointed to interact with representatives of the Tamil Nadu Government and locals, the Prime Minister said more and more people, including the legislature and himself, are increasingly of the
view that this agitation is overdone.
Earlier in the day, Home Minister P Chidambaram had said that the Centre would take all steps to
commission the plant after allaying the fears of locals.

"By removing the fears of the locals and their doubts, the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project will definitely be commissioned. Government will take all steps to implement the project", he said at a function to celebrate Congress President Sonia Gandhi`s 66th birthday.

Noting that the Centre had sent former President APJ Abdul Kalam to allay the fears of the local people, Chidambaram said the protesters should come forward and discuss the issue with scientists.

"What protection they need. What more measures needed to be taken.. The Centre is ready to take all safety measures to implement the project on which thousands of crores have been invested", he said.

With PTI Inputs