Nearly 200 arrested in India nuclear protest


Police in a southern Indian state said Tuesday they had arrested nearly 200 activists who were protesting the start of work at a long-stalled nuclear power plant. Engineers resumed working Tuesday on one of two 1,000-megawatt nuclear reactors in Tamil Nadu’s Koodankulam region a day after the local government gave the green light for the resumption of the Russia-backed project. “We arrested around 190 protesters on Monday but today there has been no arrests and everything is now peaceful,” said Vijendra Bidari, police chief of Tirunelvel district where Koodankulam is situated. Bidari said by telephone that policemen were keeping vigil at the site of the plant where work was put on hold last September after thousands of villagers and anti-nuclear activists began protesting. “Those we have arrested were involved in this protest. They are from the surrounding areas,” Tirunelvel police chief told AFP. The Koodankulam plant is one of many India hopes to build as part of its ambitions to produce 63,000 megawatts of nuclear power by 2032 — a nearly 14-fold increase from current levels.