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Friday, April 06, 2007

Appeal to Stop work on nuclear plant

The Anti-Nuclear Confederation of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (ANCTP) has urged the authorities concerned to stop work on the nuclear power plant at Koodankulam (Tirunelveli district).

The project is economically unviable and poses serious threat to safety, it has said.

An appeal was made after the confederation conducted a "people's public hearing" here on Friday to elicit views of residents of Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.

Sandeep Pandey, a Magsasay Award winner in 2002 and alumnus of IIT Kanpur, said, "It is a pity that countries like that of ours are after nuclear power at a time when developed nations are giving up nuclear projects.

"Besides, a few nations have declared their land as `nuclear free zones,' as the projects were found dangerous and expensive. There are plenty of alternatives to produce energy at a cheaper cost," he said.

Mr. Pandey cited the example of Australia, which did not have a single reactor in its territory though the nation has a lot of uranium resources.

"The country was able to produce 5,000 MW of electricity per annum tapping wind in the last 10 years. However, we are still to cross 3000 MW capacity through atomic energy in the last five decades," he said.

India should be leading the demand for a nuclear-free South Asia. G. Anton Gomez, convener of ANCTP, said that radiations from the plant would affect five million people residing in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Gilbert Rodrigo, advisor, ANCTP, said that commemorating `Chernobyl Day,' the confederation would hold a rally at Nagercoil on April 26 to ask the Centre to stop the project at Koodankulam.

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