CHENNAI: With his pro-nuke stand, late President APJ Abdul Kalam had invited the wrath of environmentalists. But, he remained unfazed by the criticism and lent his support for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in Tirunelveli district and the India-Based Neutrino Observatory near Bodi hills in Theni district. Never perturbed by the strident opposition, the Missile Man took it in his stride, countering them with scientific temper.
“We are all caught too much with the disease of fear and danger. History is not made by cowards. Sheer crowd cannot bring about changes. Only those who think everything is possible can create history and bring about changes,” Kalam had said after visiting Kudankulam plant amidst growing protests, on November 6, 2012.
In his 39-page report, seeking to allay fears about the plant safety, he had recommended 10-point action plan for the development Kudankulam and the coastal belt. According to him, people should not have “even a nano-sized doubt” about the project safety, as it met all the four safety criteria — nuclear criticality, radiation, thermal hydraulic and structural integrity.
Maintaining that atomic energy was a boon to the country, Kalam said he was making this assertion as a result of his association with the atomic energy department for about 20 years and the research done by him at various atomic research stations in America and Russia. Yet, he urged the government to accord utmost importance to the development of the areas around Kudankulam. And his recommendation was Kudankulam PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas), in the 60 coastal villages at a cost of Rs.200 crore.
Recently, Kalam had extended his unequivocal support to the India-Based Neutrino Observatory in Theni district. In his view, India had lost its lead in neutrino studies and the INO could help the country attain its global leadership in understanding this mysterious particle. He said that most of the advanced countries, including USA, Russia, France, Italy, China and Japan, were already working vigorously with neutrino science in dedicated labs. With the INO, he said India could emerge a key player in the global efforts in neutrino science.