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NPCIL admits: Should have addressed fears

Started Koodankulam hot run without informing people,should have gone door to door: tech head

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai |
March 10, 2012 2:09:57 am

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) could have prevented the confrontation over the Koodankulam nuclear project if it had better addressed the fears and concerns of the locals in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year,a top official of the public sector nuclear power giant said today.

The deadlock caused by the protests against the project that has delayed its commissioning is resulting in a revenue loss of Rs 5 crore per day to NPCIL,S A Bhardwaj,director-technical at NPCIL,said.

“Even nuclear experts were shaken by the Fukushima disaster,so if the general public or locals are asking questions,their concerns are genuine and we have to address them,” Bhardwaj said at a news conference.

“We started the hot run or trial run without informing the people. Also,in our anxiety to commission the plant,we worked round the clock and went to the plant at odd hours of the night. We took it for granted that people would understand what we are doing. We should have been careful and informed people. We should have gone from door to door and explained to the public. There was certainly a lack of communication. We are addressing it now.”

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NPCIL has since launched a massive campaign in and around Koodankulam to inform people about the safety measures in the project to allay fears. “We still aren’t able to speak with people in the immediate neighbourhood of the plant site,” Bhardwaj said. He said it would take six months to commission the plant after the TN government gave its green signal.

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