Ahead of meeting agitating villagers near the Kudankulam nuclear power project site in Tirunelvelli district, union minister in PMO, V Narayanswamy on Tuesday met Tamil Nadu government officials and apprised them of the safety measures being taken at the nuclear power plant.
"Now the plant is at the final stage of operation … and there is agitation by the local people and it’s our duty to allay their fears and to tell them that all safety measures have been taken," the minister told press persons in Chennai. He said he was meeting the agitators on today (Tuesday) and would appeal to them to withdraw their protests after explaining them the safety aspects of the plant.
"After the Japan Fukushima accident, there is fear in the mind of people that this area (Kudankulam) is also under threat, but as per the survey that has been conducted and security measures taken by the Nuclear Power Corporation, all the safety standards are being followed," Narayanasamy said.
After the accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant, the prime minister had ordered review of safety measures and necessary modifications. "Accordingly, review committees were constituted and about two months back on the basis of the reports given by the committees, the further strengthening of security measures has been done by most nuclear plants including Kudankulam," the minister said.
The union minister was deputed to visit Tamil Nadu and deal with the protesting villagers from surrounding areas. The prime minister’s action came after chief minister Jayalalithaa charged the centre with indifference to a peoples movement on the safety and livelihood concerns due to the nuclear plant.
The protest against the project intensified last month after the authorities announced that the first of reactors set up at Koodankulam would be commissioned in December.