Tirunelveli (TN): The four-member committee set up by Tamil Nadu Government on Sunday virtually gave a clean chit to the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), saying it was well-equipped to withstand natural calamities, be it earthquake or tsunami.

Emerging from the two-hour long talks with members of People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), committee Convenor S Iniyan told reporters that they inspected the KNPP on Saturday for more than three hours and reviewed the safety measures put in place to deal with any contingency.

"From our inspection we have gathered that KNPP can withstand tsunami strikes as the plant is 20 feet above the sea level. The reactors, which are of third generation, would automatically shut down in case of any problem," he said.

KNPP also has a passive heat removal system and high-power diesel generators to meet any situation, said the Convenor, adding these safety measures had been certified by authorities concerned.

Iniyan said talks with the PMANE group, spearheading the protest against the KNPP, was "cordial", but the committee rejected their demands to hold discussions with PMANE's expert group and to meet people of the coastal villages surrounding Koodankulam.

Stating that these were not in their mandate, Iniyan said the committee, set up by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, was given two tasks -- reviewing safety features in the plant and allaying the concerns of the people.

"We undertook an inspection of the plant yesterday and understood the concerns of the local people through our talks with their representatives today. We will go back to Chennai and study the documents provided by the plant officials and submit our report," he said.

PMANE Convenor S P Udhayakumar said the state government panel had told them they would go back to Chennai and study the data collected at the plant site in detail.

When asked about their future course of action if their demands were not conceded, he said they would intensify their agitation.

Endorsing the views of Iniyan, former Atomic Energy Commission chairman M R Srinivasan, also a member of the state committee, said Rs 15,000 crore had been spent on the project and due to the delay in its commissioning a loss of Rs 750 crore per month was being incurred.

"We spent a long time in the plant and reviewed all safety features. Special features have also been incorporated in the KNPP," he said.

(Agencies)