Koodankulam plant site tense after TN panel praise, police rushed

In a hardening of stand, anti-Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project campaigners launched a 72-hour fast Monday midnight as they rejected the verdict of the state expert panel that the plant was safe.

Police has been deployed in large numbers leading to apprehension the government was readying for a showdown with protesters.

After a meeting of the ‘struggle committee’ of PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy), convener S.P. Udhayakumar slammed the state panel for certifying the plant safe and rejecting a demand to hold talks with PMANE’s 26-strong expert panel.

PMANE had sought an appointment with chief minister J. Jayalalithaa to explain its position, he said, adding that its members would participate in a rally being organised by Tamilar Kalam at Radhapuram on March 11 to mark the anni-versary of the Fukushima N-plant disaster in Japan.

A large posse of policemen descended on Koodankulam to maintain order even as reports emerged that PMANE was planning to lay siege to the plant after two experts from International Atomic Energy Agency arrived for a routine inspection.

IAEA conducts periodic checks of nuclear installations across the world to ensure the fuel is not diverted to make weapons, but PMANE said the mission was proof installation work continued.

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