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REGULATION | Cesar Tordesillas, India
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India’s nuke plants are safe, says Atomic energy chief

Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Sreekumar Banerjee, stressed the importance to generate greater awareness among local residents that nuke plants do not have adverse health effects.

Speaking about the on going protests against the commissioning of the 2,000 Mw Kudankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu as well as local opposition to the proposed nuclear plant in Haryana, Dr Banerjee said the fears that people would be exposed to higher radiation levels or that their means of livelihood would be hit were misplaced.

Some additional safety features, including a passive cooling system for reactors, have been recently installed at the Kudankulam station. He added that during the devastating earthquake in Bhuj in 2001 and the tsunami in 2004, Indian nuclear plants in the vicinity were unaffected.

He pointed out that there were 14,000 reactors functioning in 30 countries for decades and the casualty figure worldwide due to accidents or damage was just 52. He said that though nuclear scientists did have lessons to learn from the recent nuclear accident in Japan, the event cannot be used as an argument against the setting up of such plants.

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