Nuclear protesters briefly block Indian port

AP News
Posted: Sep 22, 2012 1:47 PM

CHENNAI, India (AP) — A government official says thousands of fishermen in nearly 500 boats blocked a port for nearly two hours, protesting construction of a nuclear power plant in southern India.

The official said nearly 3,000 protesters demonstrated on Saturday against the loading of nuclear fuel in the first unit of the Russian-built reactor, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) south of Chennai, the Tamil Nadu state capital. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

Construction of the plant has been delayed by protests by residents and anti-nuclear groups in the past year concerned about safety following the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in Japan last year.

The government says the plant will meet safety standards.

R. Bhattacharya, secretary of the state-run Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, says the first unit is expected to start generating electricity within four months.