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Home News Power Sector News After Jaitapur, protest over Koodankulam plant in Tamil Nadu

After Jaitapur, protest over Koodankulam plant in Tamil Nadu

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KoodankulamKoodankulam in Tirunelvelli district of Tamil Nadu is witnessing huge protest. The reason: An upcoming nuclear plant which, once functional, will be India's largest power generation complex. Eight thousand villagers, mostly women, are on a hunger strike in Tirunelvelli against the setting up of the plant. It is being built using Russian technology which activists say is untested and even disputed in Russia. However, the Department of Atomic Energy insists the plants are safe. But locals view it as a huge threat.

"People in Japan were not able to control and maintain the nuclear plant. If that's the situation in Japan, which is a very advanced country, imagine where we will be," said S T Udayakumar, Coordinator, People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy.

The agreement was signed between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988. The $3.5 billion project was stalled for 10 years due to upheavals in Russia.

According to the department of atomic energy, one of its reactors is scheduled to begin operations from October this year. And the other will become operational from next year.

The plant will solve the power shortage in Tamil Nadu, but protesters, mostly fishermen from three districts, are worried it will spell the end of their livelihood.

"During the mock-run, lobsters have completely disappeared in this part of the sea. If the nuclear plant is opened, our fishing community will completely perish," said Andrews, a fisherman.

The Fukushima disaster has become a flash point around nuclear projects, not just here but also in Jaitapur in Maharashtra fuelling protests and debate.

Source- NDTV


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