The Kudankulam nuclear power plant in southern India will be generating 1,000 megawatts of power by the end of October, Union Minister V Narayanasamy announced Aug. 23. The additional energy connected to the grid will help Tamil Nadu deal with its power crisis.
The launch of the nuclear reactor has been delayed since December due to safety concerns among locals. The Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office said a “misinformation” campaign was launched by several non-governmental organizations in the area about the safety of the plant, reports The Hindu.
"Some organizations in Kudankulam are very active," he said. "But we took it on, we failed them and I personally went there. The plant has seven layers safety system."
The plant has already started generating power, almost hitting 500 MW. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board permitted the plant's operator, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd., to operate at 50 percent capacity earlier this month.
In May the plant was given the green light by the Supreme Court, which determined that all safety standards have been complied with.
Yet, local protests continue.
"It is true that the plant has started the fission process," said S. P. Udayakumar, coordinator of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy. "But that does not mean the people have accepted the power plant or that support for the protest has gone down."