PMANE threatens to lay siege to KNPP on Dec 10

Anti-nuclear activists are planning to lay siege to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant on December 10 to press for scrapping the project.

Chennai: With the commissioning of the much-delayed Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project expected by this month end, anti-nuclear activists are planning to lay siege to the facility on December 10 to press for scrapping the project.

"We will lay a siege to the Kudankulam nuclear plant on December 10, Human Rights Day. Our support organisations and some political parties are going to block the roads on that day. We will lay a siege from the seaside," M Pushparayan, a leader of People`s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, spearheading the over year-long stir against KNPP, said over phone.

The activists had on October 8 last laid a similar siege to the site, pressing their demands.

"Our demands remain the same. Scrap the plant, release those who were arrested and stop the police control on our activists," he said, adding fishermen and supporters from 10 fishing hamlets would take part in the siege.

Preparatory works are on a full swing at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu`s Tirunelveli district, as the commissioning of the plant is expected during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin this month-end.

Atomic Energy Regulatory Board has already granted the plant its permission for the `second heat up` - a process which will put to performance tests various systems of the nuclear reactor.

"We are busy with the preparatory works at the plant. But every step has to be reviewed by AERB. But it is possible to start the operation by the end of this month," official sources had said.

According to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, units 1 and 2 of KNPP were initially scheduled to start commercial operation in December 2007 and December 2008 respectively. But, as of October this year, units 1 and 2 have completed 99.63 per cent and 92.66 per cent of physical progress.

Commissioning of the first unit of the Indo-Russian project was originally scheduled for December last year but has been delayed due to protests.


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