Fishermen protest against Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
Members and supporters of the National Fishermen Forum (NFF) staged a protest here on Monday over the upcoming commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant.
T. Peter, Secretary of the NFF, lashed out at the Central and state governments for being insensitive to the demands of the fishermen, who fear radiation leaks.
"If the plant starts its operation, the lives of thousands of fishermen will come to a standstill. Thus, the fishermen have been protesting for their rights from the past one and a half years. The central and state government has been oblivious to these protests and demands and is going ahead with their preparations to open the plant," said Peter.
"Today, on the behalf of NFF, fishermen from 10 cities have come here to protest against the plant," he added.
In the past the protesters had had waded into the sea or escaped in fishing boats as hundreds of police advanced on the beach.
The government's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board in August 2012 gave clearance for fuel to be loaded into one of the Kudankulam plant's two reactors, one of the last steps before it can begin producing power.
First conceived in 1988, Russian-built Kudankulam was supposed to have gone into operation last year, but protesters surrounded the compound after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing radiation leaks and forcing mass evacuations.
The protesters fear a similar accident could happen in southern India, a region that was hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.