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Resistance to Jaitapur nuclear plant grows via Deccan Herald

Vikas Bajaj, NYT
When a farmer named Praveen Gawankar and two neighbours began a protest four years ago against a proposed nuclear power plant at Jaitapur, they were against it mainly for not-in-my-backyard reasons.
They stood to lose mango orchards, cashew trees and rice fields, as the government forcibly acquired 2,300 acres to build six nuclear reactors — the biggest nuclear power plant ever proposed anywhere.

But now, as a nuclear disaster unfolds in distant Japan, the lonely group of farmers has seen support for their protest swell to include a growing number of Indian scientists, academics and former government officials. “We are getting ready for bigger protests,” Gawankar said.

While the government vows to push ahead — citing India’s energy needs, the environment minister wrote to prime minister Manmohan Singh to question the wisdom of large nuclear installations. And a group of 50 Indian scientists, academics and activists has called for a moratorium on new projects. “The Japanese nuclear crisis is a wake-up call for India,” they wrote in an open letter.

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