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Friday 25 November 2011

Anti-nuclear lobby winning battle in India: Expert

Anti-nuclear lobby winning battle in India: Expert

PTI / Friday, November 25, 2011 12:41 IST

A key member of the Indian nuclear establishment today cautioned that if protestors of Kudankulam project in Tamil Nadu succeed in their objective, the country's entire nuclear programme could be in jeopardy.

"...if they (protestors in Kudankulam) are able to succeed, then they can succeed in shutting down the entire nuclear programme and the loser is the country, not the rest of the world. Rest of the world will look after themselves", Member of the Atomic Energy Commission MR Srinivasan told PTI.

His warning came even as the protest by locals against the Kudankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district entered the 100th day yesterday.
Srinivasan, a former secretary to the Department of Atomic Energy, said the "anti-nuclear movement" in the country has become "very strong with lot of support from elsewhere".
"It seems they (anti-nuclear lobby) are winning the battle," he said.

Srinivasan said "anti-nuclear people are working in an orchestrated way" in Kudankulam. "They are all joining up together...anti-nuclear people in the United States, Australia, Finland, Germany".

"It's orchestrated completely. Why should school children sit (in protest) morning to evening? Do they understand the issues involved?. They have been told by their parents, they have been told by some religious leaders. So, it (the protest) goes on".
Srinivasan argued that rest of the world -- he named China, Korea and Russia in particular -- are moving ahead in the nuclear field, while the United States has not stopped operating its 100-plus reactors.

"Indians should be concerned about their progress", Srinivasan said, adding, the country should not pay heed to what someone else is saying.
He said it's high time the Tamil Nadu government takes an active position in the matter.
"The experts' group has given answers to all the questions and they have explained that fears are unfounded. It's now for the state government to move".

Srinivasan said people must realise that power from Kudankulam project (KNPP) would benefit the southern region of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and support it.
"After all, power supply will not help some people sitting in Delhi", he said.

"Now, both the state government and Central government must take stock of the situation. We can't allow investment of some Rs14,000 crore or about three billion (US) dollars to remain idle. We are not a rich country".
"This stalemate should end. Otherwise, how do you justify Rs14,000 crore investment," he asked.

The KNPP, an Indo-Russian joint venture, has run into trouble with locals demanding scrapping of the project, citing safety concerns in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

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