Category Archives: Nuclear

Kudankulam: care more for the lives of Indian citizens than the profits of Russian corporations

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CHS co-founder, Winin Pereira, was a leading nuclear physicist until he realised the hollowness of the ‘Atoms for Peace’ mantra and left this work to follow a more beneficial path.

In his book, From Western Science To Liberation Technology, he wrote scathingly:

Even without the “successes” of its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, Western science’s “gifts” of global climate change and the weakened ozone layer, Chernobyl-type disasters, and about 100,000 untested chemicals dumped into the environment, could eliminate much, if not all, life on the planet.

Indeed, not for the first time, the apparently ‘peaceful’ application of Western science to the well-being of humankind, turns out to be a form of creeping (as opposed to sudden) exterminism, embodied in its weaponry of destruction.

Each “success”, like the “success” of a cancerous tumour, is contributing to the death of the system as a whole.

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The Kudankulam nuclear power plant

Yesterday a reader sent news about the resistance of likeminded people whose protests held up work on the Kudankulam nuclear power plant for seven months. Said to be the largest and most advanced civil nuclear project of the country, it is being constructed with Russian expertise.

The Russian Ambassador to India Alexander M. Kadakin earlier said his country could not allow its scientists to remain idle indefinitely:

“We are not setting any deadline. But our scientists are sitting idle since October 2011. They are scientists of highest calibre and their services are very much needed in countries, including Slovakia and Russia.”

The ambassador wondered why people had only now started protesting against the project, when the agreement had  been signed in 1988 between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and another agreement in 2008.

Fukushima, an ancient station, made on American design

“People do have the right to express their concerns and fears, especially after Fukushima incident. But why did it take six months after the incident to wake up to the Kudankulam Project. There is no need for any phobia. Fukushima is an ancient station, made on American design. I want to tell the people that the nuclear plants in Kudankulam are the safest in the world.”

Foreign supported anti-nuclear/antiGM NGOs criticised

It is reported that during an interview with the American journal ‘Science’. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh criticised NGOs receiving support from abroad for stalling the use of genetic engineering in agriculture and leading protests against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.

The protests 

The Hindustan Times reports that the protestors are now being excluded by Tamil Nadu police, including a Rapid Action Force – and 5000 armed Police in all, deployed around the plant. Though police officials said the entry points to Kudankulam and Idinthakarai Villages were blocked and all the hamlets around the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project brought under police control, the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) says that people are coming in by boat.

Have safety procedures been neglected?

It is said that Government of India, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), and the KKNPP have not conducted any emergency preparation drills or evacuation exercises to prepare the people within 30 km radius for any possible nuclear disasters. PMANE points out that if these authorities try to load nuclear fuel rods without doing these mandatory exercises, it would be deemed illegal by India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) rules, IAEA’s and other international stipulations.

The protestors’ demands

Yesterday the Times of India reported that fifteen people have undertaken an indefinite hunger strike at Idinthakarai to press for withdrawal of Tamil Nadu’s ‘green signal’ to the 1,000 MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP).

It summarises PMANE’s demands, which include a thorough study of geology, hydrology and oceanography around Kudankulam and the safety of the reactor; release of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between India and Russia and conduct of safety and evacuation drills in the 30 km radius of the Kudankulam project.  PMANE concludes:

“The Government of India and the State Government of Tamil Nadu should consult our experts and study their findings with the help of Indian and international experts if they care for the lives of Indian citizens and not for the profits of Russian corporations.”