Chennai/New Delhi: Russia on Tuesday said there
is no point in keeping its scientists at protest-hit
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant site in Tamil Nadu after its
commissioning remained stalled for months.
The Russian assessment of the situation at the plant came
even as India`s nuclear operator hoped that the latest efforts
by the state government to end the impasse over the atomic
project would yield results.
"Why should we keep them here, if they do nothing? We
should take them away from here," Russian Ambassador in India
Alexander M Kadakin said at a function in Chennai.
"...they (Russian scientists) sit and do nothing, while
they are needed elsewhere. They are very much needed in other
parts...," Kadakin said.
The envoy also said the Indo-Russian joint venture was
the safest in the world and that the first two units of the
plant were ready for commissioning.
The commissioning of the plant in Tirunelveli district by
Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) came to a
halt as locals represented by anti-nuclear activists under
People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) protested
against the plant citing safety concerns.
A senior NPCIL official voiced hopes that the new
committee formed by the state government will do the needful.
Last week, the Jayalalithaa government set up a
four-member panel to look into the concerns of local people
over the Kudankulam plant.
The team has former Atomic Energy Commission chairman M R
Srinivasan, two professors from the Anna University -- D Arivu
Oli and S Iniyan -- and retired IAS officer L N Vijayaraghavan
"Kudankulam seems to be moving forward," the official
said in New Delhi, pointing out that the panel has the
blessings of the state government.
He said the NPCIL officials had held a meeting with top
officers of the Tamil Nadu government to discuss development
works to be carried out in the area around the KNPP.
The official said that experts have not been able to talk
to people living very near to the project and issues could be
sorted out once communication links have been established with