London protest breaks out over controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project as British officials send letter to Indian Prime Minister

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Anti-nuclear and rights group on Friday held a loud demonstration in front of the Indian High Commission in London to protest against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant being built in a tsunami-prone area of Tamil Nadu.

Members of the large throng of protesters held a large red banner proclaiming “No More Chernobyls! No more Fukushimas! No Nuclear Power Plant in Kudankulam.”, and note that at a time when Germany, France, Italy and Japan are turning away from nuclear power because of its inherent and terrible dangers, trouble is brewing also in the United States on a related front, namely, the spiraling cost of nuclear power.

However India is not only not decommissioning existing nuclear plants but setting up new ones with no consideration for the safety of its people, and demanded that the Kudankulam nuclear power plant be halted for urgent safety reasons.

Five British MPs and one British Member of the European Parliament who have signed a letter addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh which will be handed over to the High Commission.

In the letter, they have demanded the halting of the construction of the plant claiming that it violated the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safety guidelines as “the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) is in a tsunami and earthquake prone region which has also experienced small volcanic eruptions and is affected by water shortages”.

They also claim it was in violation of the mandatory requirement for construction of fresh water reservoirs which are essential in case of a nuclear accident.

In addition to the MPs who have signed, two others have expressed their concern about the way people in Kudankulam are being treated.

In a message, Caroline Lucas, MP said, “I am deeply worried about the situation in Kudankulam – both in terms of the nuclear plant and the treatment of local opponents – and very much hope that the Indian authorities will take notice of today’s important protest in London.”

Keith Taylor, MEP said: “People have a right to protest against the construction of this nuclear power plant and I am concerned at the way they’re being treated.”

“Non-violent protesters are being intimidated, harassed, imprisoned, and falsely charged. We understand that from one police station alone, charges have been brought against more than 50,000 people including about 6,500 for sedition and ‘war against the state’ in the last eight months,” the letter adds.

Amrit Wilson from South Asia Solidarity Group said: “The local people opposing the Kudankulam power plant have been accused of being backed by foreign money. This is absurd. People like ourselves, acting in solidarity, have no sources of funds.

The fact is that the Indian nuclear programme itself is backed up heavily by the US and foreign corporates (like Atomsroyexport) and US companies are salivating over deals with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India.”

Source: The Hindu

Source: Business Line

Source: IBN Live

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