After the many safety assurances issued by the Russian officials, undermining the fears and protests by the locals – the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Plant was dedicated to the nation by PM Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. They say it is a fine example of Indo-Russian partner partnership. And during the dedication ceremony attended by Putin via video conferencing, he reiterated the advanced technology used to build the plant and the highest safety standards incorporated.
The local anti-nuclear activists like S P Udayakumar consider the reactors at Kudankulam as “unsafe” and call them a huge risk for the people living around the giant reactors, especially the fisher folk who live in a village closest to the nuclear reactors, ‘Idinthakarai’ and there was a huge outcry against the establishment of the atomic reactors in their backyard. and forced the plant authorities to delay the start of the reactors. This delayed the project, but the government has used every method possible (that includes force) to silence the villagers, and today the first of the two reactors is already generating power. The first unit supplies power to Tamil Nadu (562.5 MW), Puducherry (33.5 MW), Kerala (133 MW), Karnataka (221 MW) and Andhra Pradesh (50 MW).
In fact earlier this month a Russian nuclear industry official, Vladimir Angelov, director of projects for the ASE group of companies in India, assured that the plant can withstand an energy accident like the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011 in Japan. However stray incidents like Kakrapar Atomic Power Station in Gujarat that has remained shut for nearly four months after a leak in the nuclear island of the reactor raises even more doubts in the locals, and they are far from felling safe.