Church backs protest against Koodankulam nuclear project; fast for now called off

By: George Anthony
Wednesday, 21 September 2011, 15:58 (IST)
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Protests against the Koodankulam nuclear power plants were Wednesday called off after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa assured to look into the demands.

About 125 fishermen were on an indefinite fast for the last 10 days demanding closure of the two 1,000 MW power plants being built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) with Russian help near Koodankulam in Tirunelveli district.

The protesters numbering over 20,000 included environmentalists, women, nuns and priests who are demanding a halt to the nuclear power project which they warn pose a danger to the lives and livelihood of the people.

"The Chief Minister has requested us to call off the fast and we are doing it now," PTI quoted one of the coordinators of the protest movement as saying.

Earlier this week, Jayalalithaa wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and asked him to temporarily stop work at the plant till villagers are reassured of its safety.

The Church has fully backed the protest and has expressed solidarity with the cause.

The National Council of Churches in India (NCCI) initiated an email campaign that requested the central cabinet to pass a resolution against the project.

The Church of South India (CSI) earlier expressed concern over the huge radioactive accumulations at the plant site which they said could become the principal causes of environmental and health hazards.

"We strongly denounce the move to set up the N-park in Koodankulam, which in fact is a tsunami-prone and quake-prone area," a statement said.

"We demand that the central and state governments hold a democratic and transparent national consultation on nuclear power projects in the country with proper assessment of economic, environmental and human cost of such expansion."

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) also called for decommissioning of the nuclear reactors. The Bishops body urged the Indian government to protect citizens’ right to life, and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life.

Activists have been campaigning against the plant for more than eight years. Protests intensified this month after it was reported that one of the nuclear reactors would be commissioned in December.

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Have your say on this article

Added: Thursday, 22 September 2011, 13:33 (IST)

I was told that Kudankulam is the most modern safe reactor and based on our countrys energy needs Nuclear power is inevitable. Church should play a very creative role rather than obstructing the growth of the country.

Varghese , Trivandrum

Added: Friday, 14 October 2011, 20:32 (IST)

anything nuclear is dreadful and against human race and should be stopped immediately. this is applicable to kudankulam also.

chandran, nagercoil

Added: Tuesday, 25 October 2011, 14:06 (IST)

If some people living there has some problems with kundankulam nuclear reactor, why can't they protest before begining construction of that plant. With 12 years of construction, consultancy from Russia, huge amount of money spent, all going to waste, is not acceptable. Please stop the protests, India is not a rich country, to build something like that again.

william, chennai

Added: Thursday, 3 November 2011, 12:33 (IST)

india is not a rich country i agree that but koodangulam project has only 13000 crores.but spectrum curruption is about 180000.which is waste.

helgin, nagercoil

Added: Saturday, 7 January 2012, 5:56 (IST)

Surprise Surprise. Its sometimes very obvious why I became an atheist.

Jefrin, Cuddalore

Added: Friday, 9 March 2012, 23:09 (IST)

It is really shocking to hear the churches are against this! Nuclear is destructive, yes if it is not handled properly! anything belongs to that category, it means we are staying away from that? This is an alternative source of electricity and this is the only hope for India now! as everyone aware we are running out of natural resources that is used in generating electricity.Saying NO to projects like these is putting our future in dark! this generation will happily say no to Nuclear, and who is going to suffer in the future because of this? our next generation. Technology is so advanced, force the government to spend lot of money is protecting the plant against the worst catastrophe. Please DON';T say NO, that is not fair!! Even electricity is dreadful against human race, are we not using that?

Calvin Christopher, Nagercoil, India

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