Chennai: As anti-nuclear activists raised an alarm over ongoing tests at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project ahead of its commissioning and called a siege protest, plant authorities on Monday sought to allay their fears, saying only steam valves were being tested and it would not cause any harm to environment or public.
KNPP Site Director RS Sundar said only the steam relief valves on the steam lines of the first unit, slated for commissioning next month, were being tested and only steam (water vapour) was released.
"No tests are being conducted at KKNPP which are harmful to the environment and public", he said in a release adding all the works were taken up with "utmost safety" of public and environment.
Claiming that the tests resulted in `intolerable` noise and smoke affecting people in the area, People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheading the more than 500 days protest against the Indo-Russian project on safety concerns, has called for a siege of the KNPP Township in Chettikulam, about 10 km from the plant site, on April 3.
Sundar said the tests were conducted only during day time and only water vapour was released as part of the test.
He said during the period of testing, about 325 school children and 90 people from the neighbouring villages were taken inside the KNPP as part of a public awareness programme.
Sundar later told PTI that the tests, which commenced yesterday, would go on for four more days.
The 1000 mw first unit of the project, which has missed several deadlines, is expected to be commissioned this month.