Despite the protest calls made by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) against the functioning of unit-1 of Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP), fishermen from Kanyakumari district ventured into the sea as usual and no black flags were found at any of the coastal hamlets in the district.
PMANE leaders who held a meeting of community leaders at Idinthakarai on Sunday, had announced that fishermen from three districts — Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari — will not venture into the sea and hoist black flags on their houses and boats.
Kanyakumari fishermen, who had extended their support to PMANE protests on earlier occasions, did not join the agitations on Monday.
According to police, there were protests in the fishermen’s hamlets in the district and life was normal except the regular police patrol in the coastal hamlets. Fishermen including those from Chinnamuttam and Arockiyapuram put out in large number into the sea for fishing as usual.
In Udhagamandalam, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission MR Srinivasan said that Fishermen need not worry about the KKNPP’s operation adversely affecting the marine fish population, saying it is the “safest nuclear plant in the world”.
Speaking to reporters, after attending a function at the Ooty Railway Station on Monday, Srinivasan said that the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board was satisfied with the plant’s safety measures.
Even the plant’s nuclear waste would be recycled and hence the fishermen’s fears were unwarranted, he added. Noting that the first unit of the KKNPP had attained criticality on Saturday, he said that up to 400 MW of power would be produced within 45 days.
The power needs of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka would be fulfilled once the plant attains hundred per cent production, he added.