Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker M Appavu, who is the legislator from Radhapuram constituency under which the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is located, on Thursday, September 30, demanded that the proposed spent fuel location be shifted from Kudankulam, as there was increased Chinese presence in neighbouring Sri Lanka. Interacting with media persons at Radhapuram, Appavu was asked about the consent given by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) for a spent fuel storage facility at Kudankulam. He said that he opposed it, due to the increased Chinese presence in Sri Lanka.
When Sri Lanka was a friendly nation, the situation was different, he added. "There is an increased Chinese presence in Sri Lanka and hence the Government of India should shift the proposed spent fuel location of the KKNPP to either the used gold mines at Kolar or to Thar district," he said.
Appavu said that ideally, the spent fuel location should be shifted to an uninhabited area, warning that if any untoward incident happens, southern Tamil Nadu and southern parts of Kerala would be affected. He also said that a huge facility of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is located just 25 km from Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. He said that in a democracy, the government should inform the people as to where the spent fuel is stocked till date and called upon the Union government not to expand the KKNPP by proceeding with the construction of its reactors 5 and 6.
Meanwhile, the anti-nuclear power activist G Sundarrajan from Poovulagin Nanbargal on Thursday also demanded to stop further nuclear power generation and reactor construction at Kudankulam till the Supreme Court orders on storage of spent fuel is adhered to. He also condemned the clearance given by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) last month for siting the spent fuel storage facility or Away From Reactor (AFR) spent fuel storage facility at Kudankulam for the third and fourth 1,000 MW units under construction.
Sundarrajan had filed a case against the setting up of a nuclear power plant in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district by the NPCIL. The case went to the Supreme Court, which in turn issued 15 directions while allowing the plant in 2013.