More delay has been caused to the commercial operation of the controversial Kundakulam Nuclear Power Project. The Nuclear Power Corporation Limited said that the 1,000 MW first unit of the Indo-Russian project was expected to begin operations in the month of February, 2013 and has been delayed due to anti-nuclear protests.

In the month of December, 2012, the first unit has achieved 99.7 percent physical progress and the operation of the second unit of the plant (which also has the capacity of 1,000 MW) has been pushed to the month of September, 2013.

Ratan Kumar Sinha, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission said that the first unit will be commissioned in January 2013. The plant has already missed many deadlines and is built with Russian reactors. Originally it was supposed to begin operations in December 2011.

The nuclear plant has faced more than 500 days of protests, which was provoked by People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy. People living around the plant were concerned about its safety especially after the massive nuclear disaster caused in Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Having a nuclear facility close to living quarters poses a variety of health risks. Along with the poor record of reactors around the world having failed at some point, people are growing increasingly wary of using nuclear energy as a viable alternative to naturally available fuel.