Main protagonists have been the local fisherfolk. Description: On 20th of November, , a deal was signed between the Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev and the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, for the construction of two nuclear power plants at Koodamkulam. It is notable, that the deal was signed within just two years of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The public dissent almost achieved the decommissioning of the Phase I of the KKPP and caught public imagination nationwide in no time. The very concept of a nuclear plant agitated public opinion. Also, the proposal of drawing water for nuclear plants from Pechiparia dam, instigated locals and thus there was mass agitation.
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Print Please zoom in or out and select the base layer according to your preference to make the map ready for printing, then press the Print button above. It is notable, that the deal was signed within just two years of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The public dissent almost achieved the decommissioning of the Phase I of the KKPP and caught public imagination nationwide in no time. The very concept of a nuclear plant agitated public opinion.
Also, the proposal of drawing water for nuclear plants from Pechiparia dam, instigated locals and thus there was mass agitation. In , more than 10, people gathered under the banner of the National Fishers workers union to register their anger against the proposed nuclear plant.
However another version is that protest started in December 19 , , under the leadership of Y. Social equality movement. Due to severe economic and social crises the project was put on hold soon after that. The project was in limbo for almost a decade, the death of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in was yet another jolt in the revival of the project.
In year , when the government of India, planned to further extent the plant by adding four more nuclear reactors, within the premises of Kudamkulam nuclear power plant, the public was tremendously distressed by the decision and thus there was huge public congregation. It was in only that people resorted to a huge demonstration against the denial of comprehensive environment impact assessment and staged public hearing under the banner of Peoples Movement Against nuclear energy PMANE , headed by Dr.
Between various protests and demonstrations were organized by PMANE to make people aware and mobilize masses against the risky and hazardous nuclear technology. Later, after Fukushima disaster in the protests were intensified because people were deeply frightened with nuclear disaster of such a great magnitude. As discussed in social movement theory, diagnosing a problem such as nuclear energy turns out to be a very contentious process, where the different actors try to affirm and impose their interpretative frame to the detriment of representations proposed by the others.
The construction of reality is inextricably linked to asymmetries of power. In this case, the dominant frame by the public authorities had claimed that nuclear energy was cheap and safe. After Fukushima, the opponents managed to gather support around the idea that nuclear energy is very risky. Later on, the opponents would resort to the claim that fraud and corruption was very much part of this project.
Parallel to this framing struggle in the media, villagers went on a hunger strike in mid At the time of the local body election, for which the strike had been suspended, the police entered into the villages at the forefront of the protests. They started a blockade that would last almost a year, stopping the in-flow of milk, water and food. This led to a reaction at the national level, with solidarity groups emerging all over India.
The villagers, mainly fisherfolk, resisted. Simplifying, the men would keep on fishing while the women would be the protagonists of the struggle.
However, ultimately, in , the protests would diminish in intensity. At least one fishermen got killed by police firing in September , as reported by Times of India. Sundar Rajan. A Public Interest Litigation PIL was filed in with the Supreme Court asking for nuclear power development to be delayed until safety concerns were independently assessed. In May , the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the plant, stating that the nuclear power plant was in the larger public interest.
In June the first reactor went critical, and production supposedly started in late However, this unit shut down in June for maintenance. It should restart functioning in early , when the the second unit is supposed to become operational. The construction of units 3 and 4 are being prepared to start in Negotiations are on with Russia for fifth and sixth units.
Both the protests and technical problems have seriously delayed the all project, and its future remains uncertain. It is not just the safety, but the very viability of Units 1 and 2 to produce electricity consistently and sustainably that is being questioned.
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant, Tamil Nadu
The project remained in limbo for a decade due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, the project was revived on 21 June This port was established to receive barges carrying over-sized light water reactor equipment from ships anchored at a distance of 1. Until , materials had to be brought in via road from the port of Thoothukudi , risking damage during transportation.
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The concrete pouring ceremony for unit 3three was held in June Credit: Rosatom. Two 1, megawatt MW pressurised water reactor PWR units based on Russian technology were constructed in phase one of the project. An additional four units are scheduled to be added according to the agreement signed between India and Russia in December
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
The people of Koodankulam village themselves were misled by false promises such as 10, jobs, water from Pechiparai dam in Kanyakumari district, and fantastic development of the region. We tried in vain to tell them that they were being deceived. Without any local support, we could not sustain the anti-Koodankulam movement for too long. Their joining the movement in has invigorated the campaign now. No public hearing has been conducted for the first two reactors either. There is absolutely no democratic decision-making in or public approval for this project.