India: A newsreport on CNDP national convention 'Learning From Fukushima'
- Mail Today, 10 April 2011
Stop! N - activists warn govt on Indian projects
By Mail Today Bureau in New Delhi
The nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan, has galvanised anti- nuclear
groups from all over the country. They have demanded that clearances
given to Jaitapur nuclear park be revoked immediately and a moratorium
imposed on all other nuclear projects.
The groups on Saturday also rejected proposals by the Department of
Atomic Energy to introduce additional safety systems in nuclear
reactors that are yet to be installed, based on lessons learnt from
the Japanese experience.
The movement is likely to gain steam in the coming months with
coordinated action. A meeting of grassroots organisations from sites
where nuclear parks are proposed to be built and places where they are
already working was held on Saturday. To connect all the groups, the ‘
Tarapur to Jaitapur’ march will start on April 23 from the site of
India’s oldest nuclear reactor to the latest one. It was also decided
to hold a major event in the Capital during the next session of
The reality of a nuclear disaster and the impact of radiation has been
brought to people live from Fukushima. “ For eight days people in
Jaitapur were glued to their television sets to watch what was
happening in Japan.
For them it was not just news but a question of life and death,”
Vaishali Patil from Jaitapur said.
It is clear to the people that the Japanese nuclear accident was not
just a result of the quake and tsunami, as Indian nuclear authorities
are trying to make out, but a result of a blackout of the plant which
can happen even without a natural disaster, pointed our Praful Bidwai
of Coalition of Nuclear Disarmament and Peace.
Four of the seven new nuclear parks — Jaitapur, Kovvada, Haripur and
Mithi Virdi — will be located in coastal areas vulnerable to tsunamis.
People in inland nuclear sites too are worried. For instance, the
nuclear site at Fatehabad in Haryana is in a populated area and in the
midst of a highly productive region. “ There is only one source of
water — a canal — near the proposed site.
Imagine what will happen if there is no water in the canal due to
frequent agitations that keep taking place in Haryana,” said Yashveer
Arya. Moreover, he said, the plant will release radioactive water
detrimental to vegetation and the people.
Narrating the experience of the Narora plant in UP, Rajeev R. Singh
said the plant, located in a seismic zone and agriculturally
productive area, had possibly violated every site selection norm. “
People there were promised all kinds of things when the plant was set
up, as they are doing in Jaitapur now, but they did not get anything.
It has not produced even a single unit of power in the past two
years,” he added.
The atomic energy department has described the Fukushima catastrophe
as a “ purely chemical reaction” and has declared that Indian reactors
cannot undergo serious accidents, said Suvrat Raju, a physicist. “
This argument sounds especially laughable, given the poor safety
record of India’s nuclear power programme,” Raju added.
TRAGEDY IN JAPAN & THREATS IN INDIA
Cooling systems at Fukushima nuclear complex failed following the
March 11 earthquake, resulting in blasts
Radiation was found in water around the plant and also food products
produced in the area
People within a 20 km radius of the nuclear plant have been asked to
evacuate because of radiation fears
Japan will need several decades and millions of dollars to clear the
nuclear mess at Fukushima
Narora nuclear plant in Uttar Pradesh in located in a seismic zone
Four new nuclear parks in India — Jaitapur, Kovvada, Haripur and Mithi
Virdi — will be located in coastal areas vulnerable to tsunamis
Nuclear site at Fatehabad is in a populated area and in the midst of a
highly productive region