A day after the protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) took a violent turn, there was drama on Tuesday when the agitation’s coordinator, S.P. Udayakumar, was taken away by a group of men just as he was explaining his decision to surrender to the police. In a late night twist, anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal turned up at the protest venue and declared that Dr. Udayakumar should not surrender.
“He should continue with his struggle against nuclear power,” said Mr. Kejriwal, who met Dr. Udayakumar, coordinator of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy, and returned to address protesters at Idinthakarai.
Earlier, Dr. Udayakumar was taken away in a boat in the middle of a speech in the course of which he broke down amidst appeals by his supporters that he should not surrender. His much-expected surrender did not materialise till midnight.
Meanwhile, officials said the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) finished yet another inspection and preparations for loading enriched uranium in the first of the two reactors were over.
As fuel-loading is expected to begin 48 hours after a final inspection, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited brass, including its Chairman and Managing Director K.C. Purohit, are camping here to monitor exercises that would subsequently mark the criticality of the first reactor.
Though the AERB gave its mandatory approval for fuel-loading, the KKNPP invited it to do one more inspection. Subsequently, an AERB team was dispatched.