Miscreants rob Russian atomic engineer in Tamil Nadu

A senior Russian engineer, working at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project site at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli District, nearly 650 km south of Chennai, had the fright of his life as some miscreants robbed him of his camera while he was taking a walk at the nearby beach.

Alexander V Chernov, was walking on the Koodankulam beach sands on Sunday afternoon along with his daughter when this incident took place, Tirunelveli District Superintendent of Police, Mr Ashra Garg told ‘HT’ when reached over the phone today.

The young miscreants, about seven of them in the age-group of 20 years to 30 years had apparently being following Alexander and one of them suddenly “snatched away” the camera from the engineer’s hands, he said, adding, “it is only a case of robbery.”

There was no report of the miscreants having allegedly misbehaved with the engineer’s daughter, the SP said to a specific query and added the camera was worth about Rs 18,000. An FIR has been registered in the Koodankulam Police station and “we are on the job and will be able to detect the case soon,” he said.

India’s Nuclear Power Corporation (NPC), with Russian assistance is currently building two 1000 mw each ‘Light Water Reactors (LWR)’, at Koodankulam, a coastal site in South Tamil Nadu, as part of a major initiative to step up nuclear power production.

An NPC official at the work-site when reached by HT said, “We have lodged a Police complaint; we do not know what the provocation (for the incident) was.” About 70 to 100 Russian Engineers from various disciplines are working for the nuclear power project.

The Atomic Energy Commission Chairman, Dr Anil Kakodkar, during his visit to Kalpakkam near Chennai on Sunday, had said that though there was “some delay” in the first unit of the Koodankulam nuclear power plant to go on stream, “it will be ready by the end of this year or early next year (2010).”  The Centre has already lined up construction of two more 1000 MW each LMWs’ near the same site at Koodankulam.


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