Chennai, July 18 (IANS) Anti-nuclear protestors resisting the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu have urged Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa to oppose addition of two more units to the two 1,000 MW reactors planned at the plant.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) that spearheaded the anti-nuclear agitation at Kudankulam and brought the project work to a standstill for almost a year, said Tamil Nadu should follow West Bengal's example and say no to nuclear power plants.
PMANE said: "When we met the Tamil Nadu chief minister last September, we had requested her to take a stand like West Bengal chief minister that the state does not need atomic reactors. To that the Tamil Nadu chief minister had said that the atomic power project in West Bengal was in the beginning stage and the state's chief minister was able to take such a decision."
According to PMANE, now a similar situation has arisen in Tamil Nadu and the people of the state are expecting Jayalalithaa to oppose the setting up of third and fourth reactor units at KNPP.
India and Russia Tuesday signed a protocol in Moscow for Russian funding of $3.4 billion for units III and IV at the KNPP. The total project cost is estimated to be around $6.4 billion.
PMANE urged the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK, the two parties that rule the state alternatively, to spell out their stand on setting up units III and IV at Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here.
India's atomic power plant operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., is setting up the mega-power plant which is expected to substantially ease Tamil Nadu's electricity woes.
Work at the project came to a standstill last year after villagers in the area, fearing for their lives in case of a nuclear accident, mounted an intensive protest.
The Tamil Nadu government had earlier passed a resolution asking the central government to halt work at the plant and to allay the fears of the locals.
To resolve the issue, the central and state governments set up two panels.
The central panel submitted its final report Jan 31. The Tamil Nadu government set up another expert committee which too favoured the project.
In March this year, the state government gave its green signal to the project and also announced Rs.500 crore for local area and infrastructural development.
Following that, work at KNPP was restarted with police protection.