India

Indian state approves delayed nuclear power plant

Koodankulam plant
Image caption The plant has been stalled by protests from local people over safety concerns

The government of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has decided the stalled nuclear power plant at Koodankulam should be completed.

The commissioning of the plant has been delayed by protests from local people over safety concerns.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said the government had studied experts' reports and concluded the plant was safe.

At least nine anti-nuclear protesters were arrested near the site on Monday.

The Indian government recently charged several non-governmental organisations with allegedly diverting foreign funds to back protests against the plant.

The Tamil Nadu cabinet met on Monday and decided the plant should be commissioned.

"The government studied the reports of various expert panels and has come to the conclusion that the plant is safe," said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

"We are of the opinion that there is no chance of a massive earthquake or tsunami occurring there," she said.

She asked everyone involved to resume work at the plant so that the two 1,000-MW reactors could be commissioned.

People living close to the site of the reactors have long been opposed to the project, but businesses in Tamil Nadu, which suffers from power shortages, have welcomed it.

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