S P Udayakumar

The entire state of Tamil Nadu has been hit very heavily by massive cloudbursts and floods. The city of Chennai has been marooned and the national military has been pushed into rescue actions there. The Chennai international airport has been closed and all flights cancelled. There train services have paralyzed almost entirely and the Chennaiites are suffering from hunger and thirst without power, water and internet.

Cuddalore and Pondicherry have been worse hit than the Chennai city. The suffering there is more pathetic than that of the Chennaiites. At the moment of this writing, they are suffering from more rains and the forecast is even more dreadful.

But in the midst of all this doom and gloom, one group keeps its lips tightly closed paying no attention whatsoever to the Tamil people’s anxiety about safety and security. There is absolutely no word from the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) at Kalpakkam, which is hardly 70 kms away from Chennai. What is going on there? Why are journalists calling people who live 700 kms away to inquire about this important nuclear installation?

There are currently building two 600 MW Fast Breeder Reactors at Kalpakkam and the first one is going to be commissioned in April 2016. That’s what the authorities say and God alone knows how many more years it would take. The President of India laid foundation almost a year ago for a Waste Immobilization Plant at Kalpakkam by sitting in Mumbai somewhere through video conferencing.

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is currently building a Fast Breeder Fuel Cycle Facility at the cost of Rs. 9,500 crores at Kalpakkam. They have dug massive amount of Earth and piled up all around the Kalpakkam area villages. Nobody in the vicinity is ever told anything about any of their activities at the MAPS.

How do the Tamils in Tamil Nadu and the people in the rest of India know anything about the safety and security of the MAPS