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The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
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The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is located off the Bay of Bengal in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district/ Image from Wikipedia

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DMK writes letter to PM Modi seeking intervention on Kudankulam Nuclear reactor

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Chennai: Former Union Minister and senior leader of DMK, T.R. Balu wrote a detailed letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power project located in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district.

In the letter, the DMK leader pointed out that the accumulation of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) was one reason for Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear disaster. He called upon the Prime Minister to direct the Atomic Regulatory Board to request Russia to take back the SNF of Nuclear Reactors 1 and 2.

The senior leader also wanted the Government of India to withdraw the consent granted to Spent Fuels of plants 1 to 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The DMK leader requested the PM to also set up a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) where SNF from KKNPP and other plants could be safely stored.

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M. Appavu, who is a legislator from Radhapuram where the plant is situated, also raised serious concerns over the matter and even stated that with China having business interests in Sri Lanka and the island nation being closed to KKNPP, there has to be extra cautious regarding SNF and the plant.

The sudden opposition to the KKNPP from the DMK has come following the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) giving a 'sitting clearance' for Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) to construct an Away From Reactor (AFR) spent fuel storage facility for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) units 3 and 4.

While the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board officials and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) have assured the protesters and lawmakers that all is safe, around 100 nuclear accidents have occurred around the globe with five of the major ones leading to major losses of human lives and money.

The social activists and the political leaders have pointed out the major five Nuclear disasters witnessed by the world- Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, Kyshtym Nuclear Disaster, Windscale Fire Nuclear Disaster, and Three Mile Island Nuclear Disaster- that led to the loss of lives, property, money, and displaced people.

They are worried that the Away From Reactor (AFR) which is a transit facility may be converted by the Government into a permanent Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) and that building an AFR within the KKNPP campus would be dangerous in the long run.

Anti- Kudankulam activist, G. Sundarrajan who had filed a petition in the Supreme Court for shutting down the Nuclear plants at Kudankulam till the Away From Reactor( AFR) facility is built while speaking to IANS said, "Considering the above major disasters, anything can happen and the precaution has to be taken by the Government properly. If the Government turns the AFR which is a transit facility to permanent DGR, then it is dangerous especially after the Fukushima disaster."

However, scientists and officers of both the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and the ROSATOM its Russian partner, which has a 36 per cent share in the enriched uranium industry in the world have vouched that the KKNPP is safe and secure and all post-safety measures following the Fukushima nuclear disaster were taken into account at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).

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TAGS:Kudamkulam DMK Kudankulam Nuclear reactor KKNPP 
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