`KNPP designed to withstand all disasters`

power units in the controversial KNPP, were designed to withstand any natural disaster, including earthquakes and Tsunamis.

Chennai: Vouching for the safety of power
units in the controversial Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project,
its top officials on Thursday said they were designed to withstand
any natural disaster, including earthquakes and Tsunamis.

"The power units in Koodankulam are designed to withstand
an earthquake measuring 6 on the Richter scale. In case of a
Tsunami threat, we have designed the plant after analysing
data for over 100 years," Koodankulam site Director M Kasinath
Balaji told reporters here.

The plant can withstand even `man-made disasters`, he
said pointing out that even before 9/11 (terror attack) in the
US, such a possibility was envisaged for the Koodankulam
project in 1997 and necessary steps incorporated.

Station Manager R S Sundar said that there was "nothing
abnormal" going on in the Indo-Russian venture and there was
"no question of danger to the public".

Acknowledging the initial communication gap between the
scientists and locals there, Balaji said, "We learnt a lesson
in a bitter way" and hoped the "impasse" will be cleared soon.

Balaji said ongoing protests by locals demanding scrapping
of the project was "badly affecting" work at Unit 1, which was
earlier scheduled to commence operation by December.

A seven-member committee under the chairmanship of R S
Sundar will make short films on safety measures taken in the
plant and carry the message to public in that area, he said.

Asked why countries like Germany have now taken an
anti-nuclear stand, Sundar said that country plans to stop its
nuclear plants only by 2022, while there are 433 reactors in
operation in the world.

He also said 65 reactors were being constructed across
the world, with 27 of them being constructed in China.

"If we take an anti-nuclear stand, it will adversely
affect the country`s development," Sundar said.

The Indo-Russian joint venture in Tirunelveli district
has run into rough weather following protests from locals
demanding scrapping of the project, citing safety concerns.

The assurances by scientists, state government and Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh regarding safety aspects have not
succeeded in mollifying the protesters to call off their
stir, which has caused a standoff, upsetting the scheduled
commissioning of the first unit.


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