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Should Russian scientists remain at K'kulam: Envoy

February 14, 2012 22:19 IST

Russia on Tuesday said there is no point in keeping its scientists at protest-hit Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant site in Tamil Nadu after its commissioning remained stalled for months.

The Russian assessment of the situation at the plant came even as India's nuclear operator hoped that the latest efforts by the state government to end the impasse over the atomic project would yield results.

"Why should we keep them here, if they do nothing? We should take them away from here," Russian Ambassador in India Alexander M Kadakin said at a function in Chennai.

"...they (Russian scientists) sit and do nothing, while they are needed elsewhere. They are very much needed in other parts...," Kadakin said.

The envoy also said the Indo-Russian joint venture was the safest in the world and that the first two units of the plant were ready for commissioning.

The commissioning of the plant in Tirunelveli district by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited came to a halt as locals represented by anti-nuclear activists under

People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy protested against the plant citing safety concerns.

A senior NPCIL official voiced hopes that the new committee formed by the state government will do the needful. Last week, the Jayalalithaa government set up a four-member panel to look into the concerns of local people over the Kudankulam plant.

The team has former Atomic Energy Commission chairman M R Srinivasan, two professors from the Anna University -- D Arivu Oli and S Iniyan -- and retired IAS officer L N Vijayaraghavan as members.

"Kudankulam seems to be moving forward," the official said in New Delhi, pointing out that the panel has the blessings of the state government.

He said the NPCIL officials had held a meeting with top officers of the Tamil Nadu government to discuss development works to be carried out in the area around the KNPP.

The official said that experts have not been able to talk to people living very near to the project and issues could be sorted out once communication links have been established  with them.
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