India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has sent a team of fifteen experts to interact with officials from the Tamil Nadu government and the leaders of groups in the neighbourhood of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).

Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) is constructing two 1000 MW nuclear power reactors with Russian technology and equipment in Kudankulam. The first unit is due to be commissioned in December. However this could be delayed due to the protests at the site. KNPP director Kasinath Balaji has told the Times of India: “If not for these protests, Unit I would have been commissioned by December,” in mid-October.

Public opposition to the KNPP has risen following the events at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. Protestors have been blocking the road leading to the plant. Around 1500 villagers from Idinthakarai, Koodankulam and Avudaialpuram in Idinthakarai in Tirunelveli district are currently on fast demanding the closure of the nuclear power project, according to reports in The Hindu.

DAE said in a 20 October statement that expert group would explain the factual position on various aspects of the project and would ‘dispel apprehensions of some sections of local people.’ The expert group comprised renowned academics, scientists, doctors and engineers specializing in areas including environmental science, radiation safety, nuclear reactor design and safety, nuclear waste management, oncology, and seismology.

FilesRadiation survey results 1st floor, unit 2 (20 October)
Radiation survey results 2nd floor, unit 2 (20 October)
Radiation survey results 3rd floor, unit 2 (20 October)

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Video taken inside unit 2 by Quince robot on 20 October