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Why We Must Say NO To The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant!

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By Mahitha Kasireddi:

India is aiming to become a developed nation giving tough competition to China and in the course, her power consumption demands have increased. There is a huge gap between demand and supply. States are trying their best to supplement the requirement through conservative and austerity measures by scheduling power cuts in urban areas and limited supply to rural areas. Lately, there has been a spreading propaganda that nuclear power would be an optimum solution, calling it clean and emission free. As it is apparent, the advocates of Nuclear power have overplayed its benefits not considering the probability of environment catastrophes and social injustice.

Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNP) in Tamil Nadu is just another conspiracy around the local dalits and villagers in the name of sustainability and development. Like any other business, the project was incepted starting with luring the local people, promising better lives, permanent jobs etc. This project is the result of multiple corrupt dealings within organisations, indigenous and foreign, working hand in glove. For people of the three districts of Tamil Nadu- Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi, who live in the vicinity of the KKNP project, it is a routine to take blows from police lathis and water cannons since the past 20 years.


Before discussing any further we need to cognize what happened back during the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi regime. India had conducted a nuclear test in 1974, the Pokhran. Following this test, the West had passed sanctions on India except for humanitarian aid. Major members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty had voted for suspending all defence equipment supplies to India. In 1988, Rajiv Gandhi signed a pact with a Russian company, Rosatom. This deal was going to result in a negotiation that would extend the deal to a defence side supply. It has been 20 years and the plants (Unit-1 and Unit-2) have not come into operation yet, definitely because they would have faced unanticipated problems. Meanwhile, the elites in the region cautioned and enlightened the people about the hazards of Nuclear Energy. Many agitations, processions and movements emerged against the KKNP project. Now, the Russian company is pressuring officials in India to commission the project as it has been 20 long years since it was proposed and established. Leaders in our country are bent upon impressing their foreign vendors at the cost of the welfare of people at home.

Why the protests?

1. The land to construct the nuclear project at Kudankulam was seized from farmers at pretty low compensations. For most of them, it was the only asset and mode of livelihood. They were promised jobs in the construction of the plant. Slowly, they were receiving intimidations of displacement. The plant was constructed in violation of the rule that there should be no human habitation up to 30 kms of its vicinity.

2. The equipment and subparts for the construction of the nuclear plant was supplied by Russian based companies Atomstroyexport and ZiO-Podolsk. In 2012, the Russian government slapped accusations on ZiO-Podolsk for manufacturing sub-standard equipment for both domestic and foreign customers. The director Sergei Shutov has been arrested for purchasing low quality material at low cost and bagging the difference in the amount. Following this development the Prime Minister, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Broad (AERD) and Department of Atomic Energy received many letters questioning the safety of the project and recommendations to stop the construction. But, the authority as high as PMO is silent about the issue.

3. In India, the project is owned by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). According to our constitution, a public sector unit has the responsibility and accountability to make transparent and fair purchases in public interest which the board has failed to oblige.

4. The power that would be generated through the commissioning of this plant would serve up to 20 years of requirement. The cost and method of decommissioning the plant has not been discussed.

5. The problem of management of radioactive waste has not been discussed.

6. In the wake of the Fukushima Nuclear disaster, new and stronger questions have been put forth by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on whether India is prepared to face such accidents.

7. When countries like Germany, Italy and Switzerland have scraped their plans to build Nuclear power plants, why India is batting over the issue so insensitively?

8. The government has not answered on what would happen to the biodiversity of the Gulf of Munnar and the aquatic life in the sea with the release of hot water. Fishermen would be deprived of their livelihood.

9. We don’t have an independent body which regulated all functioning of Nuclear power plants.

10. There are many villages around KKNP. How would the government deal with evacuation and displacement of lakhs of people?

11. The support for the power plant is a power play of Centre-State politics. Nuclear Energy is a Centre subject and it is a prestige issue for the states to be able to attract a centre project to their state.

12. The delay in commissioning the KKNP has now turned out to be a liability issue for the GOI whose burden would be pushed on the tax-payers.

13. Why do we have to go for Nuclear power? Why can’t we consider Tidal and Solar power by sponsoring the research on these?

14. Even though the plants generate a good deal of power enough to distribute among the states, are there sufficient numbers of substations to transform it?

Dr. Gopalakrishnan, former Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board had exposed various loopholes justifying why the plant should not be commissioned. The plant has sub-standard equipment installed in it, manufactures by ZiO-Podolsk. The valves are defective proving that there is every probability of a leakage. The plants have not been subjected to Environmental safety assessment yet.

The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) is carrying out rigorous hunger strikes with people participating in huge numbers. Women are the strong fighters in this movement. The NGO has been accused of receiving funds from foreign sources and also alleged that it was back by US agencies to block the project. The leader of the NGO, Udaykumar, and his wife who live 30kms from the KKNP have been subjected to various pressures by the state and central agencies.

The protestors have been put through a great testing time. The police had arrested some protestors on wrong charges and refused to give any information regarding their whereabouts to their kin. They spread rumours about the torture they were subjected to in order to induce fear among the people. Some villages in the Tirunelveli district have been besieged by paramilitary and police forces curbing the movement of the villagers. Sometimes they are not allowed to even visit the hospital in the next town. Children here who have to give their board exams are at great risk and disadvantage.

It is very surprising to hear from a person of a stature as high as Abdul Kalam who called the fears of the people as comic-bookish apprehensions in his article in the Hindu. Somebody had rightly quoted that it is easy to write an article from far than face the upshots of a state sponsored crime.

How far is it fair to put thousands of lives on stake in the name of progress, sustainability and development? The spirit of struggle is still intact in the people of Tamil Nadu. As you are reading this, the fishermen of Tamil Nadu along the coast are combating a great deal in seizing the ships of the company and stopping its commissioning. As you are reading this, many more are being taken away by the police, charged with wrong accusations and detained at far places. It is time the government acts with responsibility towards its citizens and deemed that the SC shall uphold the social justice of the people of Tamil Nadu.

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  1. prashanth

    If you mention the alternatives it will complete.nice work.

  2. mahitha

    Yes, I am thinking of a sequel of this, thank you 🙂

  3. Menon

    The young author is regurgitating the evangelist propaganda beautifully playing on the catch words “environmental catastrophe and Social injustice. First let’s be clear. This must be the offspring of that eas created for the Arab spring as a prelude to Kichadiwala’s show. They succeeded in North Africa but failed in India despite bulk SMS support to kichadiwala. The common man saw through the ruse.
    The author says “The Kudankulam ……….. of sustainability and development.”
    The poor girl does not seem to have gone into the area but putting forth the nonsense that American “inspired” church seem to be propagating. Now let’s see the vague statements to this enthusiastic young girl and start. I will ask her one simple question. Has she considered the number of nuclear reactors in the west under conception or construction? Why is there no such agitation by the all pervasive cancerous Church in those areas and only in Kudankulam and ONLY in INDIA. Is there any “special reason why nuclear reactors in India alone are targeted? Of course there are western organizations like Green Peace that will make token agitations for the purpose of giving fig leaf cover to western machinations.
    This typical conversionist reference to dalits and villages is also a dead give away. Who are the dalits agitating? I thought it was just Christians with a window dressing of Hindu names (in this area a Hindu name does not mean a Hindu)
    Let’s put facts in perspective. The people of Kudankulam Village ARE NOT AGAINST THE REACTOR. That village is just 2 kilometers away from the plant. The agitation is orchestrated and led by the Church with its nearest epicenter FIFTEEN Kilometers away because that’s where the first Christian village is. The difference? The Church has not yet made full inroads into Kudankulam. The agitation is being led from Idinthakarai. What inducements have been offered is unclear though I have heard stories of 500 rupees and Briyani. It may very well be a ‘side business”. If you look at the agitators, except on Sundays and holidays it is almost 100% women of a certain age group. So this could very well be an income enhancement program.
    I will ask this activist to meditate on why there is no agitation in the 68 countries including USA (where 13 are under construction and/or contemplated) where nuclear plants are coming up. I will ask her to contemplate why there was no fear at all when the plant in upper NY State was threatened by the recent hurricane in East Coast. Why the fear of disaster ONLY IN INDIA? Is it because the aim is to target India or is there something “special” about Indian plants?
    Actually it is BOTH. Targeting; now that using Pakistan to stifle India’s growth having failed, the west is keen on using other methods. The specialty is that the plant is Russian and is not obsolete US ones – like the one in Fukushima that caused the disaster – that the US wanted to sell to India. It was Indian refusal to buy the obsolete dangerous plants with no liability for disaster that triggered the agitation.
    When this young girl says “Like any ……………….. working hand in glove.” – Is she not revealing the game plan? Let’s have the facts clear. KKNP is not a private business like in USA. This sentence reveals who wrote the article. Someone who does not know the structure of NPCIL.
    “For people of the ……………….. 20 years.” This is just hype. People reeling under 18 hours power cut would be relieved even if there is a reduction by 50%. Church is, IMHO, one that feeds on the misery of people to convert on the basis of incorrect statements.
    The author says:- “Before ………………… the deal to a defence side supply.”
    The poor girl does not seem to understand, WHY India had to go nuclear. It was a national imperative and the problem was it upset the superiority airs of western Nations that thrive on rapine, pillage and genocide. I remember the golden words of evangelist Jimmy Carter on India appraising the US of the nuclear test of Pakistan in Lop nor in 1980. “I do not trust Hindus”.
    “It has been 20 years ……… faced unanticipated problems.” The young girl is implying that, had India purchased obsolete Fukushima type plants from USA without safeguards, they would have finished in no time. There WILL BE problems in such massive structures and they will be solved as we go forward. The parts are one off parts so there will be a lead time. Does US have some magic abracadabra by which parts appear out of thin air?
    “Meanwhile, the elites ………………the KKNP project.” Pray who are the “elites”? The Parish priests? They “Misled” would be more like it. Like telling them the sea will boil and that volcanoes will rise from under their houses. That’s what I hard. Very humorous.
    Now, the Russian ………….. of the welfare of people at home.
    Does the little girl know the leadtime for nuclear reactors? Even the defective obsolete nuclear plants (without the safety features of KKNP) takes 10-15 years.
    Why the protests?
    1. The ……………… 30 kms of its vicinity.
    How much can you lie little girl? It is seashore and not farmland. Ever been in that area? It was Government land and arid sand dunes.
    2. The equipment ………………… stop the construction. But, the authority as high as PMO is silent about the issue.
    Another lie similar to item 1 above. Of course there is corruption. Lil girl imagines there is no corruption in USA. The difference is the corruption there does not impact the aam aadmi direct. That is all. Can the lil girl show one field where the west does not cheat? Medicines for the common man 100,000% percentage profit and SC intervened and then they talk of rights. These activists like this girl will not be able to say anything on that because she does not conduct any independent research – just regurgitates whatever is fed. Yes anybody can sit and write anything. Like Teesta setelvad’s cyclostyled affidavits did the church get cyclostyled letters signed?
    3. In India, the ………………. in public interest which the board has failed to oblige.
    Let us start at the beginning. The constitution does not deal with the issues. Laws and Rules do. This again is a result of an American writing what has to be regurgitated. *smile* If there is a problem with transparency and accountability appropriate authorities will take care of that. For the little girl’s information contract was inter-governmental. So there are no separate purchases that require transparency. The parts can be sourced only from Russia because it is a Russian design. So lil gal please tell me what are the transgressions.
    4. The power that …………………… has not been discussed.
    My dear Girl the decommissioning has been done in many plants and the procedure is pretty much standard and the cost will depend on when the decommissioning takes place.
    5. The problem of management of radioactive waste has not been discussed.
    The lil girl is bringing up the bogey that is a problem in the west. The poor gal (or rather the author – evangelist/CIA) is not aware or is unwilling to recognize the three stage process in operation in India. The waste from this plant will be used in fast breeders that will reconvert the waste into fuel. Ultimately insignificant amounts of waste alone may remain. Why not you read up and research before you regurgitate what white maama tells you? IN US it is a problem because they did not plan far enough to think a solution to nuclear waste that we did.
    6. In the wake of the Fukushima ……………… is prepared to face such accidents.
    My dear lil gal what is NSG? It was created to contain India and India has already made it redundant. It is just a western interest cartel. Fukushima will not happen in India (a) because we are NOT building similar obsolete, defective American reactors [which is the reason for this agitation] (b) there is provision for payment of damages in case of an accident [again the reason US industry is angry and hence the agitation]. (c) Tsunami cannot strike kudankulam unless it happens there. We know what is good for India we are not going to listen to people who in history led the greatest Genocides and destructions of civilizations the world over.
    7. When countries …………. insensitively?
    Reason is simple; the technology available to the west is being hoarded for making a killing later when oil dries up. We have to use less efficient technology. Nuclear is one field where we have tech better than the west. Germany, Italy and Switzerland together are smaller than Tamil Nadu. Their requirement is also small. BTW Germany only shifted the plants to east Europe, and only decommissioned plants whose life was over. Rest are still functioning.
    8. The ……………………livelihood.
    Poor girl. Many mistakes here. There is no gulf of Munnar. There is Gulf of Mannar. Result of Gora maama committing a mistake in names? This is a LIE that has been said a million times. The temperature of water release is 5 degrees above mean and that gets neutralized within 200 METERS of the release point. It is this LIE that’s used to scare the illiterate Christian fishermen of idinthakarai. The studies over years have seen no significant damage to biodiversity. So tell the gora maama to study more before writing nonsense.
    9. We don’t have an …….. functioning of Nuclear power plants.
    The gora maama is having NRC in mind. We have much more robust checks and balances. Read after your own point 14. Contradiction.
    10. There are many villages around KKNP. How would the government deal with evacuation and displacement of lakhs of people?
    Ho!! I am fed up with these lies. A mere glance at the map or using google maama would have told the lil gal that there is NO SUCH concentration of people around KKNP. The nearest village is Kudankulam after that all villages are tens of miles away. Look at google maps you can see that. The author did not even bother to do that!!!!!!!!!
    11. The support for ……….. a centre project to their state.
    It is a case of finding the best available power source at this point of time. The agitation is a power play between evangelists and established church along with American finance. It is an issue of survival of established church.
    12. The delay in ………… on the tax-payers.
    Do not worry about GOI burden etc. The savings from relieving South India’s power shortage will push National GDP up by 25%. That will compensate it
    13. Why do we ………….. research on these?
    Poor girl. Ask Gora mama and the churches why they are not going solar 100%. The tech is NOT there nor is it economical in the short run. Solarisation is slowly happening. Yes yes gora maama is trying to sell his defective ware a lot in India.
    14. Even ………….. to transform it?
    There are. Unless enthusiastic misguided youth and church do not block transmission lines
    Dr. Gopalakrishnan……………………. of a leakage.
    Is he not the one who worked for the plant before his retirement? So why the change of heart? Obvious is it not?
    The plants have not been subjected to Environmental safety assessment yet.
    My dear girl!! Why do you lie like this? Was this not raised ad nauseum and rejected by Courts?
    The People’s ……………. by the state and central agencies.
    PMANE is but another organ like intended to spread instability to cater to western interests. Other statements here are bare faced LIES. Yes women normally sitting at home are, I am told hired for Rs.500 and Biriyani per day. So naturally they are in the forefront screaming.
    The protestors ………………… exams are at great risk and disadvantage.
    Again a pack of lies. These things happen in USA not in India. Ask any native American they will tell you. Why do you lie so much?
    It is very …………………. sponsored crime.
    The difference is he is a patriot and knows what he talking about unlike a US primed primary school teacher with a Christian religion doctorate
    How far is it …………………………….of Tamil Nadu
    Again a pack of lies. It is all paid women screaming. The men are out fishing. The pity is had the Church and leaders of agitation used the 10,000 crore fund for the development of community instead of on an anti national agitation the Country would have been different.
    A very poorly researched article.

    1. Pratibha

      Thank You Menon Sir for bringing out the true picture.I was literally dumbstruck after reading this piece. And than I was double dumbstrucked by your response . Though I appreciate the fact the author has accepted her fault , I still feel someone from the YKA team should read this piece and either take it down or clarify the matter. Articles like this can be harmful for them as well as general public (read youth).

  4. mahitha

    Mr. MENON I appreciate you for putting so much time in nitpicking every word I wrote. BTW, I am not paid. This was an assignment given to me with a time stipulation 🙂 . I already expressed my dissatisfaction in writing his article in such a hurried manner to my peers. I am not telling you this as an excuse or to say I am not responsible for what is written. Why would I lie btw? Very ridiculous allegation! I don’t live in Tamil Nadu and I know it is easy to write anything from far. I totally agree. You must have been updating on this from pretty long time.I very well know I did not research the issue well. People are free to debate and I respect your anguish and opinions. Thank you for putting forward this right perspective to view the issue but only if you had some courtesy in addressing me :). Why don’t you come up with a counter article to this in the same forum and enlighten everyone else with all the logic you are talking. We would heartfully appreciate that.

  5. Menon

    Dear Mahitha:

    I appreciate your honest admissions. I maybe about your grandfather’s age so I hope you will be indulgent. First of all let me say this is not “nit picking” but “countering”. Nit picking is about insignificant details. here every detail is important and based on false propaganda. So I had to counter everything.

    I am old and I have seen many things. I was one of the first to see the danger of the “Arab spring” sponsored by In Cairo I told people be careful you are paving the way for fundies. People raved and ranted against me just like you. Now what? The girls who ranted are imprisoned behind Burquas and the young men are forced to wear beards and pants that are calf length. Soon you will see beheading and lashings. And where is awaaz now? gayab!!!!

    I suspect it is the same awaaz here in another avatar. In fact IMHO their primary target was India and North Africa was just a trial run. But they did not take into account the great inertia of India. They failed.

    There are, IMHO many organizations created by the west to mislead and mold impressionable youngsters like you to do their dirty work. You will not recognize it till its too late.

    What did you mean by ” I already expressed my dissatisfaction in writing his article in such a hurried manner to my peers”? You were paraphrasing something that someone else wrote? That’s exactly what I was saying!!!!!

    As I mentioned, the youngsters in Tunis and Cairo were as patriotic as you are. But they did not understand they were being exploited against their Nation.

    f course I was being indulgent to you as if u were my grand daughter. So a small slap was called for. That’s all I gave.

    You wrote the article believing the person’s statements to be true.Please!! at least go to google maps and see whats there around KKNP. Then you will understand you have been misled.

    I think i am entitled to say these things because i have done my part to the community. i use solar energy only.

  6. Minie

    Mr. Menon – Thank you for showing the real picture.

    @Mahitha – Thanks for trying, i hope honest (even though caustic) comments like that from mr.Menon will push the writers to inject more research in their articles, esp on topics like these.

    1. Menon

      In matters affecting the Nation causticity is called for. These innocent young persons are being made cat’s paw by certain people/organizations. It is only such comments that will expose their nefarious activities. Do you know it is 500 rupees and Briyani for the agitators who are women above 40. If you look at the agitation pics you can see that only women in this age group along with a very SMALL sprinkling of men make up the agitators and they are NOT from kudankulam. they are from idinthakarai the nearest christian majority village about 15 kilometers away.

      I agree that proper research is required for writing on such issues and THAT is what is lacking in the girl’s article.

    2. Menon

      while I oppose the agitation I am all for solarisation which should be the way forward. My house runs on solar power. I am not like the people involved in the Kudankulam agitation who use nuclear energy and yet agitate against it. I also asked a leader of the Church why the Trivandrum bishop house is not solarised. he said “it is uneconomical”. Then why is the Church saying use solar instead of nuclear?

  7. muthuvijay

    muthu vijay

  8. sumit

    this whole protest is nothing but an U s conspiracy against india and russia so as to make a blow to the growing relationship between india and russia and any one who is keenly observing the total matter will see how India three biggest christian body are against the plant intelligence bureau recently have sent ther report regarding how americans involvement into these protest and is using christian body as a cover up, USA has also made there protest public by saying that they donot approve india buying “nuclear material” this is an important point because the prime motives for opposing the Nuclear Reactor were allegedly multi-faceted. One of the allegations was that the project was meant to damage the Russian civil nuclear credibility and to make it impossible for Russia to recover costs of construction, and thereby, artificially creating a state of uncertainty for future foreign investments in India. Another was that it was meant to increase the inevitable dependability of India towards the US alone for future foreign investments. …my friends more 140 billion are spent to make this plant foolproof….donot support this bastards…..JAI HIND long live india …

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biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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