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Widely Opposed Nuclear Plant Moves Forward in India

While opponents fear Fukushima-like disaster, Judge says "larger public interest should prevail over the minor inconveniences that may be caused to the people."

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

The Kudankulam Nuclear Plant (Photo: Eunheui/flickr)India's Supreme Court gave the OK on Monday for a hotly-contested nuclear plant in the state of Tamil Nadu to move towards operation, sparking opponents to vow to continue their fight.

The court ruled the Kudankulam Atomic Plant "is safe and secure and it is necessary for larger public interest," dismissing a petition over safety concerns at the plant.

According to The Hindu, "Justice Dipak Misra said that the larger public interest should prevail over the minor inconveniences that may be caused to the people."

Opponents fear "the minor inconveniences" could be a Fukushima-like disaster.

The Wall Street Journal reports that environmental activists and local residents have been fighting the plant since it was first commissioned 25 years ago, and that the protests grew after 2011 when Japan's Fukushima disaster began.

Further, "Opponents of the plant say that it is located in an area which was badly affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami" BBC News adds

"The court has let down the people of this country. The Kudankulam Atomic Plant is not an example of sustainable development, rather symbolises disastrous development," said SP Udhayakumar, founder of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE).

"The Supreme Court judgement is unjust," M Pushparayan, also part of PMANE, said following the decision.

But his group is not giving up the fight, saying, "We will talk to our supporters and soon chalk out a plan of action."

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