Nuclear Power in Kudankulam, India

Collection with 17 media items created by Transterra Editor

09 Sep 2013 09:00

Idinthakarai, a majority Christian fishing village near the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in India, has become the epicenter of the anti-nuclear movement in the region. There is an estimated one million people living within 30 kilometers of the plant in villages all along the coast of Mannar — which is against the stipulated safety rules of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of India — and the people deeply fear that poor regulation at the KKNPP could result in a disaster similar in scale to Fukushima.

Representing this cause, since 2011, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) has been holed up in Idinthakarai where their headquarters is located. Idinthakarai's only entry point is closely guarded by villagers which, coupled with rumours about the villagers being armed with crude bombs, means the police are reluctant to enter this zone and deal with protests.

PMANE largely depends on the efforts of the women, and the support of local priests and churches to gather support and manpower in the area for the anti-nuclear protests. They work from the Lourde Mary Church in Idinthakarai, 6 km away from the power plant, dutifully sending out press releases and Facebook updates on the rare robust internet connection provided by the church, demanding for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) to address their fears.

On May 6, 2013, the Supreme Court of India cleared the way for operations to begin at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). But despite the villagers' need for energy from other sources, and PMANE's best efforts, they still have received little or no safety-training in the event of a disaster. And the NPCIL continues to do little to assuage the fears of the local fishing communities.

Photos by Jyorthy Karat.
Article by Srinath Perur.

Photo Collec... Collection Photo Essay India Nuclear Power Nuclear Powe... Environment Radiation Nuclear Reactor India Power Kudankulam

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 1
Kudankulam,
By Jyothy Karat
11 Mar 2013

700 boats and around 5,000 villagers lay seige at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant on the occasion of 2nd anniversary of Fukushima disaster, March 11,2013, Koodankulam. Organised protests erupted in the region in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has done little to assuage the fears of the local fishing communities of a similar disaster; while memories of the Tsunami hit in 2004 are still fresh in the minds of the locals.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 2
Kudankulam
By Jyothy Karat
11 Mar 2013

700 boats and around 5000 villagers lay seige at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant on the occasion of 2nd anniversary of Fukushima disaster, March 11,2013, Koodankulam. Organised protests erupted in the region in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has done little to assuage the fears of the local fishing communities of a similar disaster; while memories of the Tsunami hit in 2004 are still fresh in the minds of the locals.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 3
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

View of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) as seen from Idinthakarai village. The KKNPP had been mired in controversies since its inception in 1988. Although four nuclear reactors were commissioned in 2008 in addition to the two reactors commissioned earlier, currently only one reactor (Unit I, 1000MW capacity) is operational (since July 13, 2013) and Unit II is still under construction.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 4
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
13 Apr 2013

A local fisherman is seen resting on his rudimentary boat near Idinthakarai - a fishing village with a population of 12,000. The fishermen fear that their livelihood would be hampered by the effluents released into the sea by the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant which could potentially destroy marine life.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 5
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

Boats dock at the Idinthakarai village, 6km away from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The village is the headquarters for People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), the NGO that has been spearheading the anti-nuclear protests in the region. The fact that there is only one entry point to the village, which is closely guarded by the villagers, coupled with rumours about the villagers being armed with crude bombs, mean the police are reluctant to enter this zone. Thereby protecting the protestors from hostile government agencies. The flip side is that the leaders holed up here might never get a chance to leave.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 6
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

Men make fishing nets by the beach in Idinthakarai village, 6km away from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The fishermen fear that their livelihood would be hampered by the effluents released into the sea by the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant which could potentially destroy marine life.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 7
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

Children look at the graffiti created by supporters of the anti-nuclear movement in Idinthakarai. Prominent figures from the scientific, human rights activists community, film makers etc., has expressed their support to the movement. One of them being Dr. A Gopalakrishnan, retired chief of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). The AERB is responsible for ensuring the safety and feasibility of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP).

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 8
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

Detail of a boat docked at Idinthakarai, a village 6km away from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The village took the center stage in the anti nuclear protests when PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy) set up shop there in 2011.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 9
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

A religious sign is seen on the door of a fishermen’s shack in Idinthakarai. The epicenter of the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is the Lourde Mary Church at Idinthakarai, 6km away from the power plant. The church and its priests have been vital in garnering support and popularity for the anti nuclear protests in this Christian-dominated fishing community.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 10
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

General view of a street in Idinthakarai, a village near the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The villages along the coast of the Gulf of Mannar, where the power plant is situated, has been protesting the commissioning of the plant owing to fears about its safety. There are (an estimated) one million people living within 30km radius of the power plant which is against the stipulated safety rules of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of India. According to M Pushparayan, convenor of PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy), the villagers have received little or no safety-training in the event of a disaster.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 11
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

People pray on their knees at a grotto housing a replica of the Pieta at the Lourde Mary Church at Idinthakarai, 6km away from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The epicenter of the protests against the power plant is the church and its priests have been vital in garnering support and popularity for the anti nuclear protests in this Christian-dominated fishing community.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 12
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
12 Mar 2013

People gather at Idinthakarai, 6km away from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of Fukushima disaster, March 11,2013. The anti-nuclear protests in the region has largely been peaceful and is led by the women. The movement is funded by the villagers themselves, for which the men has to go out to the sea for work every day. The women gather in front of the Lourde Mary Church at Idinthakarai daily, in silent protest. Organised protests erupted in the region in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has done little to assuage the fears of the local fishing communities of a similar disaster; while memories of the Tsunami hit in 2004 are still fresh in the minds of the locals.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 13
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
16 Apr 2013

M Pushparayan Victoria, convener of PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy) is seen talking over the phone while the R.S Mugilan (environmental activist and PMANE’s legal advisor, seen on left) and the parish priest of the church at Koothankuli, a village near the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), has lunch at the parish house. Pushparayan who has fought for coastal issues in Tamil Nadu for more than two decades was integral in mobilizing protests in the fishing villages near the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) owing to his popularity in the area as an ex-parish priest. He claims that his privacy is often breached by government agencies and his family had been harassed owing to his role as a leader in the anti-nuclear protests.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 14
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

A priest is seen working in the computer room of the Parish house in Idinthakarai. The epicenter of the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is the Lourde Mary Church at Idinthakarai, 6km away from the power plant. The church and its priests have been vital in garnering support and popularity for the anti nuclear protests in this Christian-dominated fishing community. The parish is equipped with a robust internet connection and a functional computer which makes sure that the movement and its people are not forgotten in this fast paced world. Press releases complete with pictures and Facebook updates are dutifully sent out. PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy) is headquartered here.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 15
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
16 Apr 2013

Portrait of S Paramaartha Lingam (78), father of PMANE (People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy) leader S.P Udaykumar photographed at Udaykumar’s house in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu. Meera Udaykumar, wife of S.P Udaykumar says that life is made difficult for the families of the leaders of the movement. Owing to more than 200 police cases levied on S.P Udaykumar and other leaders, they had been unable to travel out of Idinthakarai (for fear of being arrested), the epicenter of the anti-nuclear protests, for more than a year. Their families, meanwhile lived in small towns outside.

Thumb sm
Kudankulam 17
Kudankulam, India
By Jyothy Karat
14 Apr 2013

A man walks along the beach in Idinthakarai. Seen in the background is the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). The KKNPP had been mired in controversies since its inception in 1988. Although four nuclear reactors were commissioned in 2008 in addition to the two reactors commissioned earlier, currently only one reactor (Unit I, 1000MW capacity) is operational (since July 13, 2013) and Unit II is still under construction. While the state of Tamil Nadu is still suffering from an energy deficit of 34.1% in 2013, the villagers feel that the state and the country has alienated their interests and has ignored their safety concerns.

Document thumbnail
Kudankulam Article
Idinthakari, India
By Jyothy Karat
10 Mar 2013

Idinthakarai, a majority Christian fishing village near the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) in India, has become the epicenter of the anti-nuclear movement in the region. There is an estimated one million people living within 30 kilometers of the plant in villages all along the coast of Mannar — which is against the stipulated safety rules of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of India — and the people deeply fear that poor regulation at the KKNPP could result in a disaster similar in scale to Fukushima.