In a surprising turn of events, the CPM-led Kerala government has proposed setting up a nuclear power plant that will utilize the state’s abundant thorium reserves to generate electricity. Power Minister K Krishnankutty presented the proposal to his counterpart at the Centre R K Singh on Thursday.

The proposal has sparked interest because the CPM was at the forefront of protests against several nuclear power plants across the country. In 2008, the party withdrew its support for the UPA government over the Indo-US nuclear deal. However, CPM leaders maintain that the party was never opposed to nuclear power plants per se. Their opposition was solely to the nuclear deal.

Jyothilal mentioned that the state favors small modular reactors over conventional ones. He explained, “Advanced small modular reactors have a power capacity of 30-300 MW per unit. Their installation is straightforward, and due to technical sophistication, they are safer. Since reactors are modular, power production can be incrementally enhanced.”