Activists Charged in Fatal Blast Near Indian Nuclear Plant
On Tuesday a blast near the Kudankulam nuclear plant in south India left 6 dead and 3 injured. SP Uthayakumar, head of the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), was injured in the blast and booked by police for suspected involvement.
The controversial nuclear plant began operations in October. Those opposing the plant, which is located on a coastline that was hit by a tsunami in 2004, fear that it will face a similar disaster as occurred in Fukushima, Japan in 2011, reports BBC.
Local police chief Vijayendra Bidari said "the bomb exploded accidently inside a house" that is suspected of being used as a bomb-making factory, and further stated that two unexploded bombs were found near the site.
The explosion reportedly occurred 15 kilometers (9 miles) away from the nuclear plant.
Among the dead was a woman and three young children under 5 years old. At least 3 homes apparently collapsed due to the explosion.
Anti-nuclear activist Uthayakumar was identified by police among the 3 injured according to the Hindustan Times. He was placed under investigation along with his associates Pushparayan, Mukilan and as yet unnamed others.
The nuclear plant, which was unaffected by the blast, is one of many similar planned facilities. India aims to generate 63,000 MW of nuclear power by 2032, nearly 14 times more than current production levels.