In order to put into productive use its engineers at the stalled Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has started transferring them to other upcoming projects in India, an official said on Monday.
"It has been three months since the work at the 2,000 MW power project came to a standstill. So some engineers have been transferred to the upcoming power projects at Kakrapar (Gujarat) and Rajasthan," a senior NPCIL official told IANS on condition of anonymity.
NPCIL is building two 700 MW atomic power plants in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
He said around 12 officials belonging to mechanical, civil and fuel disciplines have been transferred from KNPP.
India's nuclear power plant operator NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli, around 650 km from Chennai, at an outlay of Rs 13,171 crore.
The first unit was slated to be commissioned in December. However, villagers, citing fears for their lives and safety, brought all the project-related activities to a standstill.
"The district administration monitors the number of people who enter the project site. They do not allow more than 100 officials in a day. We are sending people on rotation so that they do not lose their morale," the NPCIL official said.
He said the condition of the coolant water in the first reactor is being monitored and water chemistry maintained.
"The coolant water is being circulated so that the equipments do not rust," he added.
NPCIL has around 850 employees at KNPP. Queried about the 120 Russian engineers working at the KNPP, he said: "Some have gone on year-end vacation and they are expected back."
The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the protest against the project, Monday wrote to the three women chief ministers in India - J Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu, Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh and Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal.
It asked them "to take steps to rescind all the nuclear agreements that the central government has signed with the US, Russia, France and many countries around the world".