According to reports, as the protest against the Koodankulam nuclear power project intensified, former president A P J Abdul Kalam has backed atomic power saying it was one of the cleanest and safest. The country needed clean energy like nuclear power for its development, he said during an interaction with students at a function here last night. “All safety measures would be taken care of by the technicians and scientists,” Kalam, a missile scientist, said when a student asked whether the Koodnankulam plant was a boon or bane for Tamil Nadu. Stating that one litre of petrol produced two kgs of carbon dioxide affecting the environment, Kalam said India was well equipped with thorium-based fuel for generating energy. The future power generation should be aimed at solar, wind, nuclear and hydel sources, he said. His comments come at a time when the people of Koodankulam have intensified their protests against the Indo-Russian nuclear power project demanding its scrapping on grounds of safety concerns.