Chennai: Activists spearheading the anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) protests on Friday requested the Tamil Nadu government to expand a new four-member panel that will look into the plant's safety aspects and also remove an atomic scientist from it.
The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) welcomed the setting up of the panel on Thursday, but demanded the removal of M.R. Srinivasan from the expert committee. But PMANE's coordinator S.P. Udayakumar said in a statement: "We are obliged to point out that M.R. Srinivasan, a member of the team, is a well-known pro-nuclear person. He is the former chairman and current member of India's Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)."
According to Udayakumar, Srinivasan was also a member of the site selection committee in the 1980s for KNPP, and has been in favour of nuclear power and the Kudankulam project.
Udayakumar citing Srinivasan's press statements in support of KNPP said: "The people of Tamil Nadu had expected that the state expert team members would be neutral and independent, but Srinivasan is neither. So it is hard for the PMANE to accept Srinivasan."
PMANE has requested Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to replace Srinivasan with another expert and expand the four-member team with experts in geology, oceanography and hydrology in order to deal with a few KNPP specific issues, said Udayakumar.
Tamil Nadu had on Thursday announced the setting up of a four-member expert committee to look into the safety aspects of KNPP and the fears of the local people about the project.
The committee comprised Srinivasan, two professors from Anna University -- D. Arivu Oli, S. Iniyan and retired IAS officer L.N. Vijayaraghavan.