Tirunelveli: The ground-breaking ceremony for construction of two more reactors of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) was performed on Wednesday morning.
The ceremony, claimed to be a milestone in the country’s civil nuclear programme, was done without prior intimation even to the district administration or pollution control board officials. Even mediapersons were not allowed during the ‘bhoomi pooja’ ceremony reportedly performed in the presence of KKNPP site director, R.S. Sundar, project director of the third and fourth units, P.A. Pillai, along with a select number of NPCIL engineers and scientists.
The general framework agreement between India and Russia was signed in 2014 for construction of the second phase of the twin reactors—third and fourth units at KKNPP nuclear power complex. The expansion project is to be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 39,849 crore, which is twice the cost of the first two reactors supplied by Russia.
The twin reactors to be supplied for expansion of KKNPP, however, was said to be of advanced model (VVER-TOI) to meet modern nuclear and radiation safety requirements.
Commencement of construction is expected soon, according to a highly placed KKNPP official, who said the project complex has enough land for expansion and no more land would be acquired.
Anti-KKNPP activist, S.P. Udayakumar, however, demanded intervention of the Chief Minister to stop expansion plan at KKNPP. Udayakumar also recalled the Chief Minister’s promise against adding more reactors at KKNPP, when she met anti-nuke activists here in September 2012.
The activists also wanted left parties that passed a resolution against expansion of KKNPP, to rake up the issue now.
Speaking to DC, Udayakumar said as the expansion plan is at a very early stage it is the right time for the state government and political parties to act against it as did West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, against setting up of a nuclear power plant at Haripur in her state....