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Former President Kalam to visit nuclear plants in coastal areas

October 15, 2011 - Coimbatore

Former President and eminent scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Saturday said that he would visit nuclear plants across the country to check existing safety mechanisms, in a bid to allay the fears of activists and locals following Japan's Fukushima disaster.

"What I said to you is that I am going to visit all the nuclear plants which are situated in coastal areas. I will study it, discuss it with scientists within a period of ten days and then, I will present the steps which should be taken in India," Kalam told media persons at a school in Coimbatore, where he was attending a special function held by students to commemorate his 80th birthday.

"No, there are sufficient nuclear experts in India itself," he added, when asked whether experts from Russia are coming to India.

Kalam's planned tour comes in the wake of the highly charged protests that have been held by concerned locals in the Koodankulam town.

Anti-Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant activists had on Friday prevented the entry of workers and scientists into the nuclear plant complex for the second consecutive day.

The project, which is being set up as a joint collaboration between India and Russia, envisages to build two 1,000 MW type reactors by the end of December 2011.

However, in the wake of the Fukushima incident in Japan, several nuclear projects across India such as one at Jaitapur in Maharashtra have run into rough weather as protesting locals and activists argue that such plants could adversely affect the environment.

There are 20 nuclear reactors in operation in six power plants, generating over 4,000 megawatts of electricity while five other plants are under construction.


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