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India: A newsreport on CNDP national convention 'Learning From Fukushima'

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  • Harsh Kapoor
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 10, 2011
      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
      Parliament.

      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
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