India: People who will be affected by proposed nuclear plants plan united struggle
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Tehelka , 10 August 2011
United body against Nuke plants mooted
Villagers from Jaitapur, Chutka, Fatehbad, adopt resolution to take their protests nationwide
Nikhil M Ghanekar
Following the one-day dharna against the Jaitapur nuclear plant at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday, a group of people who will be affected by nuclear plants across the country assembled to form a consolidated platform against nuclear energy and nuclear arms. At the All India Convention Against Nuclear Energy, villagers from Jaitapur, Chutka (Madhya Pradesh), Fatehbad (Haryana) adopted a resolution to mobilise all those affected by proposed nuclear plants. They demanded the shutdown of all existing nuclear plants in a phased manner, stopping construction of all proposed nuclear plants and implementing nuclear disarmament laws. Raj Kumar, an activist from Chutka, Madhya Pradesh said the Madhya Pradesh and Central government had stripped the tribals around the Chutka village of their livelihood. “Most of the tribals around the proposed nuclear plant have been forced to migrate to Nagpur or Surat,” he said.
Currently, around seven new nuclear plants have been proposed while construction work has started at one and foundation work has started at three. Kundankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra), Haripur (West Bengal), Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh), Mithi Virdi (Gujarat), Gorakhpur (Haryana), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh) are the sites selected to accelerate India’s nuclear energy generation.
Adwait Pednekar from Mumbai, a nuclear scientist and a member of Konkan Bachao Samiti, has in the past liaised with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Ministry of Environment to lobby against the Jaitapur nuclear plant. Speaking at the convention, Pednekar said, “The entire nuclear establishment has a created an illusion by hiking the electricity demand in order in order to justify their nuclear energy expansion programme. We are the only country currently expanding our nuclear energy generation. Even China has suspended their plans after Fukushima disaster.” Pednekar add, “The final cost of electricity per unit from Jaitapur will come to around Rs 9 -10 per unit. Besides, the NPCIL (Nuclear Power Corporation of India) never reveal their capital costs, so one never knows the actual cost escalation by the end of the project.”
India has a total of 20 reactors functioning in six states with a combined generation of 4780 MW (2.9 per cent of total generation), but the UPA government is been trying to achieve their target of 20,000 MW by 2020 and 6300 MW by 2032. The affected villagers will be meeting for a bigger convention in Ahmedabad on August 27.
Proposed Nuclear Plants
Place | No. of reactors x capacity | Total capacity | Area required
Jaitapur | 6x 1650 MW | 9900 MW | 938 hectares
Mithi Virdi |6 x 1000 MW | 6000 MW | 837 hectares
Haripur | 4x 1200 MW | 4800 MW | 409 hectares
Kovvada | 6 x 1600 MW | 9600 MW |809 hectares
Chutka | 2 x 700 MW | 1400 MW | 650 hectares
Gorakhpur | 4 x 700 MW | 2800 MW | 607 hectares
Nikhil M Ghanekar is a correspondent with Tehelka.com.
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