Hyderabad: The launch of the prestigious nuclear power park at Kudankulam in
Tamil Nadu may be delayed further with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited
unable to take up the crucial “peripheral jobs” to formally run the reactors.
About 3000 people are needed to run the Kudankulam power plant but with agitators
obstructing entry of employees, the NPCIL has chalked out an emergency plan to complete
the finishing works by using 500 people. Officials could manage just 40 employees a day
and this will further delay the formal launch of the controversial project.
According to Dr SK Jain, chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation of
India Limited, and Dr Sreekumar Banerjee, chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, officials
are able to manage only two buses each with about 20 workers. “We need 3000 people to
bring the nuclear power plant into operation. At least 500 workers are needed to complete
peripheral jobs. We need the permission of the International Atomic Energy Agency before
we fuel the plant. But before we approach the IAEA, we need to complete the finishing
touches,” they pointed out.
Kudankulam is a “safeguard plant” and is subjected to checks by the IAEA. They said the
schedule of formal inauguration of Kudankulam plant was not in their hands. “It is IAEA’s
prerogative to give the formal clearance,” they said when asked whether the NPCIL would
go ahead with the inauguration despite the strong opposition.
They told reporters on the sidelines of the three-day international conference on
“Characterisation and quality control of nuclear fuels”, which began here on February 27. The
Department of Atomic Energy has written a formal letter to the government of Tamil Nadu
seeking its support for allowing employees into the plant. The agitators have been
obstructing employees from entering the plant. The Tamil Nadu government has not yet
replied to the letter, they added.
Referring to the imported technology being used in new nuclear power plants in the
country, they said India was seeking only technical cooperation. Initially, the plants
will use foreign and indigenous technology in 50:50 ratio, which will come down to 35:65,
with most of the plants using 65 per cent local technology.
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