The protest against the Kudankulam nuclear power project has assumed irrational hues. On Sunday, protesters refused to meet former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who was visiting the site. They chose not to talk to him because he has a strong “nuclear background".

Nuclear Power Corp.’s Kudankulam plant is seen in the background. Photo: Bloomberg

At various times, ministers and government officials have tried to assuage the fears of those who live in the area about the safety of the plant. But such is the political backing these persons have received that nothing short of shutting down the $2.6 billion plant will placate them. This is nothing but blackmail.

India has safely operated nuclear power plants in very densly populated areas for decades. That record alone should convince citizens that the government is not about to take any chance with their safety.