Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power station located in the Tirunalveli district of the state of Tamil Nadu. It was under construction until the entire process was stalled due to the anti-nuclear protests by the locals and the ‘People’s Movement against
Some facts about Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant :
Two 1 GW (gigawatt) nuclear reactors are under construction in the plant. When the construction is completed, Kudankulam Nuclear plant will become the largest nuclear power generation complex in India, producing a mammoth 2 GW of electric power. Four more reactors are to be added to the plant in the coming months, which also will be water-cooled and water-moderated power reactors just like the present two. Some of the advanced safety features which the plant harbours are ‘double containment’, ‘core catcher’ and ‘passive heat removal’.
Why the protest all about? : The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will be a feather in our country’s cap once it is in operation. The plant will be playing a great role in eliminating the power scarcity in most of the rural areas in our nation. But there have been continuous protests against the plant’s operation by the local people. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, a Fukushima disaster was feared by thousands of locals in the area, hence the opposition. More than 1 million people live within the 30 km radius of the power plant. And in case of a nuclear disaster, it is absolutely impossible to evacuate those many people safely from the place. The protesters had even added the point that developed nations like Germany IS taking steps to shut down all of its 17 nuclear power plants, even though those 17 plants account to 23 percent of that nation’s energy.
Reaction by the Scientific Authorities about Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant:
The former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam had expressed satisfaction regarding the safety of the Kudankulam Power Plant, after thorough and meticulous inspection of the plant and discussions with the officials.
Former chairman of the AECI (Atomic Energy Commission of India) Srinivasan put forth the fact that the Kudankulam plant should never be compared with the Fukushima plant. He had also stated that the Fukushima plant was constructed on a beachfront, whereas the Kudankulam was built on a solid terrain. India is not located in a tsunami prone area; and also, the nuclear power plants in Kudankulam have a double containment system, hence can withstand high pressure. Srinivasan had firmly said if the plants aren’t brought under operation immediately, the economic stability of our country would be affected.
A survey was conducted by a panel formed by the Government of India in regard to the safety of the Kudankulam plant. The survey asserted that the Kudankulam plant is the safest and the apprehensions of the people are not based on scientific principles. Therefore, the people have to be made understood and proper awareness should be created amongst them.
Nuclear power is one of the biggest powers of our country. We have eminent scientists and professors in the nuclear science field itself, and the field is one of the developing and attractive fields in our country today. The issues revolving around the Kudankulam plant are more of misconceptions and speculations. If the plant is brought under operation, it would be a great step towards the development of our country.