First Unit of KNPP to be ready some months from now: Kakodkar

 Despite 'difficulties' faced at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, the first unit would be commissioned 'some months from now' and the second by end of 2013, Atomic Energy Commission member Anil Kakodkar said here today.

Alluding to anti-nuclear protests over commissioning of KNPP, he said "Despite difficulties the first unit will deliver power in some months from now. The second unit will be ready by the end of next year."

Speaking on 'Energy and the future of peaceful Nuclear Technology' at a function organised by the state planning board here, he said four more plants are coming up in India, for which sites have been identified and environment clearance received. But public resistance to the plants was a big issue.

'If we are able to handle the public awareness part, I think the rest should be manageable', he said.

He described as 'far from reality' issues taken up by anti-nuclear agitators and said the fear physcosis had increased after the Fukishima accident in Japan.

But Japan has restarted the reactor. "They also plan to re-start one of the projects in Japan. They (Japan) are faster than us. We should remember that', he said.

Kakodkar alleged that international and national lobbies were behind these protests. 'They are not concerned with the issues of local people. They just want to oppose it', he said.

'They are powerful people who shape public opinion. There are also political ideologies in opposing nuclear plants. They equate nuclear reators with nuclear bomb. Unknown fears about a nuclear plant also work against this energy," he said.

Kakodkar advocated going in for nuclear energy, which he said was cheap and clean and said the Centre's ambitious Nuclear Energy Programme can deliver and resolve the energy problem of the country, 'despite problems'.

Kakodkar said issues connected with land acquisition and rehabilitation have to be seriously considered. People do not trust a government body. We should create credibility in that aspect', he added.

He sought to dispel fears over disposal of waste from nuclear plants, saying India re-uses it in its reactors and the waste coming out is 'very negligible'.

Radiation from such plants was also insignificant,he said "Radiation dose to public is insignificantly small fraction of natural background and regulation limit', he said.
He rejected environmentalists' charge that biodiversity would be adversely affected due to nuclear plants.

Kakodkar, also chairman of Solar Energy Corporation, said Centre has worked out an ambitious programme to tap solar energy in a big way.

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