October 13th, 2011
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Koodankulam protest: 700 scientists blocked

KoodankulamChennai: Koodankulam nuclear power plant protestors have blocked 700 of the 1000 scientists and engineers from reaching the atomic plant. The agitation of the disgruntled, furious protestors is gaining intensity. 5000 of the 6000 contract workers were also not allowed to enter the plant.

The villagers in the area believe that the atomic plant is unsafe and has demanded its immediate shut down even before the new plant swings into action. However, the Indian government and international watchdogs have certified the Koodankulam plant meets the strictest safety standards.

Koodankulam is designed to be the single largest source of atomic energy in India. In a letter written by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh pointed out the significance of the plant to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa yesterday.

“The Central Government attaches the highest importance to ensuring that the use of nuclear energy in the country meets the highest safety standards…the Government fully shares the concerns of the people of the area and will take all steps to allay their fears,” Mr Singh wrote to Jayalalithaa.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s letter to the chief minister however, only irked the protesters in Koodankulam.  M Pushparayan, convenor of the Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Power said that the Prime Minister’s letter did not give any respite to them. “ As it is just one of the common things that have taken place between the Central and state governments in the last seven years, without yielding any result. This letter culture has to stop and they have to give us concrete solutions,” he said.

More than 5000 protestors at Koodankulam have joined a relay hunger strike. Jayalalithaa has asked the union government to suspend operations at the nuclear plant till the villagers are convinced they are safe.



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