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Russian nuclear scientists in Kudankulam to be sent elsewhere: Envoy
by Staff Writers
Chennai (IANS) Feb 14, 2012

With work on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) stalled due to protests by villagers, the Russian nuclear scientists posted at the project are remaining idle and are required elsewhere, the Russian envoy to India said.

Speaking to reporters here Tuesday at a function, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M. Kadakin said: "They (Russian scientists) are needed elsewhere. Our scientists should not remain idle."

He stressed that the Russian reactors at KNPP are the most modern and safest in the world.

He blamed vested interest for stalling the KNPP that was supposed to go on stream last December.

A senior official of Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) told IANS that there was no formal request from the Russian authorities for taking back their nuclear scientists posted at KNPP.

"We too have transferred some of our employees to other sites. We can get them back. There are employees of contractors who once sent out may take some time to get them back," the official said preferring not to be named.

"Many of our employees there are upset as they are remaining idle for the past several months," he added.

The NPCIL is building two 1,000 MW atomic power reactors with Russian collaboration at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from Chennai.

Villagers of Kudankulam, Idinthakarai and others fear for their lives and safety in case of any nuclear accident. Their agitation, led by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), had put a stop to the project work, delaying the commissioning of the first unit slated last December.

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