Tirunelveli (TN): An anti-nuclear front opposing the Kudankulam Nuclear power plant on Sunday described as "absurd drama" the offsite emergency exercise conducted by senior officials and scientists of KNPP at Nakkanery village, about seven km from the plant site.
People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy wondered why the exercise was held in a village of just 300 people and not in more densely populated hamlets closer to the Kudankulam site and suspected it might have been done so that the 100 illiterate women left behind after the men went for work could be "manipulated".
"If 100 villagers in Nakkanery are trained, how do others in the 16 km or 30 km radius and beyond get information and experience to face a nuclear disaster?" PMANE convenor Pushparayan pointed in a press release.
He said Collector R Selvaraj had claimed in a release that the exercise was carried out in three stages as prescribed in the Emergency Plan. But the release had no mention of it, he said.
The PMANE convenor demanded to know why local public representatives such as MP, MLA, civil society members, prominent citizens and local media not invited for the exercise.
"Do nuclear disasters affect a large area around the plant or just one or two specific villages? How come the exercise is carried out in an isolated village and not throughout the project affected area?" he asked.
The `Offsite Emergency Exercise` conducted yesterday is a biannual programme and one of the mandatory steps prescribed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board before commissioning of the first unit at the plant.