The People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)-led protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) would complete its 1,000th day Sunday, M. Pushparayan of PMANE and the Tuticorin constituency candidate of AAP told IANS over phone. "All these days we have raised our issues through three forums -- people, scientific and judiciary. The issues will be raised in parliament when members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) get elected in the general election," he said.
He said to commemorate the milestone of PMANE's protest, there will be a small public meeting at Idinthakarai, the nerve centre of the anti-KNPP protest since 2011. According to Pushparayan, even though the Supreme Court has given its nod for the first unit at KNPP, it will take a long time for it to begin commercial operations. "It will also take a long time for NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd) and others to fulfil the 15 conditions laid down by the Supreme Court. Perhaps the court could have ordered fulfilment of the conditions as a pre-condition for the commercial operation of the first unit," he added.
According to him, it is only logical for India to see how the first two units at KNPP work and then decide on buying more such reactors. But without knowing the performance of the first two reactors, India has decided to buy two more reactors from Russia. He said the three PMANE activists contesting the general election from Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari will surely get sizeable vote share in the polls. He said the nuclear issue was taken up by AAP candidates in a major way and it will be repeated during the 2016 assembly elections. On AAP's stance on nuclear power, he said the party has said the consent of the people is a must before a project is built.
India's atomic power plant operator, NPCIL, is setting up two 1,000 MW Russian reactors at Kudankulam. After several years of delay, the first 1,000 MW reactor at KNPP and India's 21st reactor began its nuclear fission process at 11.05 p.m. July 13, 2013. Since last July, the unit has been increasing its power generation gradually. The NPCIL got the nod from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) early this month to increase the KNPP first unit's power levels above 75 percent.