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Day 7: No sign of relief for Kudankulam protestors

Day 7: No sign of relief for Kudankulam protestors

The Supreme Court had on Thursday refused to stay the loading of fuel in the reactors.

Kudankulam: It's day seven of the anti-nuclear plant protests in Kudankulam, and there is no sign of relief for protestors. The Supreme Court had on Thursday refused to stay the loading of fuel in the reactors.

The villagers formed human chains to protest in the sea on Thursday demanding that the project be stopped. Even as the government told the Supreme Court during a hearing on a petition against loading of fuel that the plant was safe, the court observed that the safety of those living in its vicinity is of prime concern.

While the government maintained the loading was yet to begin and the plant will be operational only at least two months after the procedure, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board confirmed that all safety guidelines are yet to be met at the plant. The board said that fuel loading in the reactors of the plant has not begun as yet. "We are waiting for final clearances, a major pre-fuel loading process is complete," the AERB said.

The court will hear the matter on next September 20. Earlier, the court heard arguments from petitioner Prashant Bhushan and the Centre.

The court's decision comes as hundreds of people from Tamil Nadu's Idinthakarai village, the epicentre of the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), stood in the sea water on Thursday to protest moves to load uranium fuel in one of the two reactors.

Villagers, mostly fishermen, agitated by forming a kilometre long human chain in the Indian Ocean. Coast guard aircraft surveyed the area.

With black flags fluttering in the backdrop, the protesters said they were prepared to sacrifice their lives to protect their livelihood and ecology through the 'jal satyagraha', taking a leaf from a similar protest in Madhya Pradesh.

(With additional information from PTI, IANS)

first published:September 14, 2012, 09:55 IST