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Kundankulam protesters end stir to decide next action

Chennai: Winding up the protest in the sea against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) on Monday, the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) would chalk out its next course of agitation 14 October, said an activist.

"We will have a meeting of community leaders Oct 14 to decide on the next course of action against the nuclear power project. The people are protesting against the project for the past 420 days and they should not be ignored," SP Udayakumar, coordinator of PMANE, told IANS on Monday.

Protests at Kudankulam. PTI

He said a protest outside the Tamil Nadu state assembly would be held 29 October. According to Udayakumar, the sea protest was successful.

Opposing the KNPP, fishermen, traders, activists, and cadre of political parties held a protest on Monday in the sea near the atomic power plant, around 500 metres from the Kudankulam shore.

"Around 1,000 fishermen's boats from Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin with over 10,000 people participated in the protest," M Pushparayan, one of the leaders of the PMANE said.

Around 3,000 policemen have been deployed in the Kudankulam area to prevent any untoward incidents.

This is the second time that a protest has been organised in the sea against the KNPP.

Last month, hundreds of fishermen blocked the approach channel to the Tuticorin port around 600 km from here. The fishermen dispersed in the afternoon and the operations of the port were largely unaffected.

India's atomic power plant operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) have been building two 1,000 MW reactors with Russian help at Kudankulam since 2001.

For more than a year, PMANE has been leading the people's protests against the power plant.

Villagers under the PMANE banner have opposed the project fearing for their safety, especially after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan March 2011.

NPCIL recently completed loading the first reactor with enriched uranium fuel bundles numbering 163. The process to close the reactor vessel is currently on.

IANS

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