KNPP conducts emergency drill

KNPP conducts emergency drill

An “off-site emergency exercise” was conducted on Saturday at a village near Kudankulam to sensitize the villagers to any emergency preparedness, even as the first 1000MW unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) got closer to enriched uranium fuel loading.

The village of Nakkanery, about 7 km from the KNPP plant site was chosen for doing the drill in conformity with the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) requirements in coordination with the Tirunelveli District Authorities, in whose jurisdiction the N-plant is located in Tamil Nadu.

Earlier in the day, the KNPP’s shift-charge engineer “declared a Plant Emergency”, following which the Site Director reached the plant site to start the exercise, an official release from Tirunelveli said this evening.

Soon, alert messages were sent to the officials including the District Collector, R Selvaraj, officials of AERB, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited , and officials of the Environment Survey Lab at KNPP. 

Then, “counter measures” were carried out in three stages to safely meet such situations.  However, the ‘People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)’, spearheading the agitation against the KNPP, alleged that “the secretive and fake disaster management training session” at Nakkanery village, “just to create false records to satisfy the AERB.” 

The village hardly had 100 houses with a population of 300 people and most residents had “gone out for work” when the police surrounded the village and blocked all the roads,” the PMANE coordinator Fr Pushparayan said in a statement from Idinthakarai hamlet near Kudankulam on Saturday.

There were only about 100 women and children in the village, who could “hardly read or write or understand anything about the nuclear issue,” Pushparayan said. 

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