Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited has constructed a nuclear power plant at Koodankulam, in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The first of the Two 1000 MW, VVER type reactors will be commissioned in October 2011.
People from 30 odd villages around Koodankulam – from the districts Kanykumari, Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli – fear that the commissioning of the newly constructed nuclear power plant at Koodankulam will place at grave risk the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people in the 3. They painfully point out that in the event of a nuclear disaster, which is not unlikely given the fact that these districts were the worst affected in the Tsunami 2004, the entire South India, the spices capital of the world, will suffer an irremediable ecological damage.
The protestors hold that nuclear energy strategy is unsustainable, ecologically destructive and deleterious from the point of view of protection of people’s livelihoods. Their fears have been already validated by the following nuclear disasters: Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (March 2011). It is noteworthy that Russia has not constructed any nuclear reactor since the Chernobyl disaster.
People have intensified their 20 year-long protests demanding the closure of the Koodankulam Power Plant: as many as 127 people were on hunger strike in Idinthakarai from 11 September; more than 15,000 people – ‘across caste, religious and political barriers, a camaraderie rarely seen in Tamil Nadu’ – were congregating at Idinthakarai every day, in solidarity with the fasters. They concluded the hunger strike only after Dr Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, intervened and asked the Prime Minister of India to halt the project 'until their fears are allayed'.
The Government is planning to hold interactive sessions to convince the people of the adequacy of the safety measures taken to guard against any eventuality.
On the contrary, this online petition aims at convincing the Prime Minister that people's fears can be adequately allayed by nothing less than the closure of the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant.
The Petition goal is 150,000 signatures before 20 October 2011.