Reasons to Oppose the India-Japan Nuclear Deal - Nuclear Free by 2045 ? Dennis Riches 14 Aug 14 In late July and early August, a leading member of India’s Coalition for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, Kumar Sundaram, visited several Japanese cities in order to speak to the mass media and Japanese citizens about the proposed Japan-India nuclear energy agreement. He timed his visit to Japan to precede that of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of August. Modi will meet with his Japanese counterpart in hopes of finalizing a deal to allow the purchase of vital components of nuclear power plants that are proposed or under construction
“The government and the company don’t give a damn whether the tribal people live or die,” said Ghanshyam Birulee. “The government is treating us as guinea pigs to fulfill its greed for Uranium.”
India uranium mining fuels health crisis
Sanjay Pandey | Al Jazeera “They took away my land,” 35-year-old Agnu Murmu told Al Jazeera, days before he died. “I begged them to give me a small truck… but they gifted me with cancer.”
Murmu, according to social activist Ghanshyam Birulee, was just the latest casualty of radiation pollution in Jadugoda, a tribal heartland in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.
His house sits dangerously close to a tailing pond, where the government-run Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) discharges waste from its mining operations. Murmu’s mother said the family knew nothing about radiation when mining began here about five decades ago.
“Like other unsuspecting parents, I would also allow my children to play near the tailing pond and catch fish from the canal that I know now is contaminated by radiation pollution,” said Rakhi Murmu, 52, with tears spilling down her creased cheeks.
“Uranium mines have ruined our lives. I know they won’t rest till they bury us all in those pits.”
Spontaneous abortions and miscarriages
Radioactive waste generated by three government owned mines – Narwapahar, Bhatin and Jadugoda – has spurred fears of a health crisis in the region.
Residents say they suffer from a number of diseases linked to radiation pollution, including congenital deformities, sterility, spontaneous abortions and cancer – yet mining continues unabated near these Indian villages, without proper security measures in place.
Dumping of radioactive waste by the roadside or near the villages may be putting even more people at risk………
Several surveys conducted by independent agencies, including Japan’s Kyoto University and India’s Jadavpur University, have confirmed radiation pollution in the air, water and soil in Jadugoda.
Independent nuclear scientist Sanghmitra Gadekar, who conducted a survey on 9,000 villagers living in and around mines, has documented cases of congenital deformities, infertility, cancer, respiratory problems and miscarriages……..
Nitish Priyadarshi, a geologist who has surveyed radioactivity in Jamshedpur and Ranchi, said while uranium particles cannot travel that far, “its sister elements like radon gas, which damages lungs and kidney, can travel to the city and take the already high radioactivity to alarming levels.”…….
whatever the government policy, Jadugoda’s 50,000 tribal residents continue to stand exposed to a danger which the activists say “nobody cares about”.
“The government and the company don’t give a damn whether the tribal people live or die,” said Ghanshyam Birulee. “The government is treating us as guinea pigs to fulfill its greed for Uranium.” http://ramumine.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/yet-another-example-of-how-mining-companies-destroy-local-peoples-lives/
Tata, Reliance Power bet big on renewable energy, to spend Rs 1,500 crore each, Economic Times, By Shuchi Srivastava, ET Bureau | 9 Jul, 2014, MUMBAI: Two of the country’s largest power producers Tata PowerBSE -5.04 % and Reliance PowerBSE -7.70 % are betting big on renewable energy and will spend about Rs 1,500 crore each on clean energy projects this fiscal.
“Reliance Power is keen to be a part of the journey to position India as one of the world’s major solar power producers in the coming years. Given the exciting new opportunities such as the ultra mega solar PV projects and the shortfall in meeting the renewable purchase obligations by various state discoms,” said the company. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/38044771.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
India Plans World’s Largest Floating Solar Power Project (50 MW) After canal-top solar power projects, India is planning to install the world’s largest floating solar power project.Clean Technica, 4 July 14
India’s leading hydro power generator National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) is planning to set up a 50 MW solar photovoltaic project over the water bodies in the southern state of Kerala. Renewable Energy College will provide assistance to the company for implementing the project…….http://cleantechnica.com/2014/07/02/india-plans-worlds-largest-floating-solar-power-project-50-mw/
India – now nuclear and environmental dissent is a crime Ecologist, Kumar Sundaram 4th July 2014 “…….Nuclear power is the new must-have India made advance promises for reactor purchases from France’s Areva, Russia’s Atomsroy export and US giants like Westinghouse and GE in exchange for these countries’ support for an exemption for India at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) in 2008.
India was thus permitted to engage in international nuclear commerce despite its status as a nuclear weapons state outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
It is under the pressure of the commitment to the international nuclear lobby that the Indian government has been bulldozing everything that stands in their way:
- undermining and diluting safety norms,
- pushing through environmental clearances at gun-point,,
- neglecting the adverse economics of these projects,
- crushing grassroots democratic dissent, and
- trying to exempt the nuclear suppliers from liability in the event of any accident….http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2460076/india_now_nuclear_and_environmental_dissent_is_a_crime.htm
Nuclear export group divided over ties with India – diplomats Yahoo 7 news July 2, 2014, By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) – An influential global body that controls atomic exports is divided over establishing closer ties with India, meaning the nuclear-armed Asian power may have to wait a while longer before joining.
Diplomatic sources said different opinions were voiced in a debate on relations with India – a non-signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – at an annual meeting of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) last week in Buenos Aires.
The United States, Britain and other members have argued in favour of India joining the trade body, established in 1975 to ensure that civilian nuclear trade is not diverted for military aims……the country would be the only member of the suppliers’ group that has not signed up to the NPT, a 189-nation treaty set up four decades ago to prevent states from acquiring nuclear weapons.
This has caused some NSG states to raise doubts about India joining their club, which plays a pivotal role in countering nuclear threats and proliferation. Some also argue that it could erode the credibility of the NPT, a cornerstone of global nuclear disarmament efforts……..https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/24372928/nuclear-export-group-divided-over-ties-with-india-diplomats/
‘Government working on providing insurance cover to nuclear plants‘ Economic Times Jun 28, 2014, HYDERABAD: The government is working with a group of experts and officials of Nuclear Power Corporation of India,Finance Ministry and insurance companies to work out the modalities of providing insurance cover to existing and new nuclear power plants, a senior official said here today.
R K Sinha, Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission told this to reporters after flagging off the world’s second largest gamma ray telescope to Ladakh, where it will be installed. According to him, government is working towards forming a nuclear insurance pool to cover the nuclear facilities, involving state-owned General Insurance Company and New India Insurance.
“We are on the way to find a solution (to liability law concerns). We will be putting in place a mechanism to cover the risk through insurance (for nuclear plants),” Sinha, told media persons, he said.
In order to address the liability issue that has held up deals with various countries, the central government earlier said it decided to form a Nuclear Insurance Pool that will have a number of stakeholders to meet the requirement of huge financial cover in case of a mishap.
Under the Liability Law, compensation of up to Rs 1,500 crore will have to be paid in case of a mishap involving a nuclear plant. At present, India has 20 nuclear plants and their number is expected to grow as the industry expands.
The Department of Atomic Energy has been pursuing the issue of bringing the nuclear plants under insurance cover, with the Ministry of Finance, NPCIL and insurance companies, he added…….http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-06-28/news/50929523_1_insurance-cover-nuclear-plants-nuclear-insurance-pool
India’s uranium mines expose villages to radiation, DW 25 June 14 India plans to source a quarter of its energy from nuclear power by 2050. But this ambitious goal could come at a cost. Radioactive waste from uranium mines in the country’s east is contaminating nearby communities…….Local activist Kavita Birulee says the villagers here are terrified of the radioactive waste. In Jadugoda, rates of cancer, miscarriages and birth defects are climbing…….
Just 40 years ago, Jadugoda was a quiet and lush green locality with no dust or radiation pollution. The people here lived a quiet rural life. But things changed when the Indian government started mining operations here in 1967.
Radioactive waste generated by three nearby government-owned mines has caused serious health-related problems in Jadugoda. The mines belong to Uranium Corporation of India Limited – or UCIL. They employ 5,000 people and are an important source of income for villagers in this relatively remote area. But the waste has put 50,000 people, mostly from tribal communities, at risk.
A recent study of about 9,000 people in villages near the mines has documented cases of congenital deformities, infertility, cancer, respiratory problems and miscarriages.
Nuclear scientist Sanghmitra Gadekar, who was responsible for conducting the survey on radioactive pollution in villages near the mines, says there was a higher incidence of miscarriages and still births.
“Also, laborers were given only one uniform a week. They had to keep on wearing it and then take it home. There, the wives or daughters wash it in a contaminated pond, exposing them to radiation. It’s a vicious circle of radioactive pollution in Jadugoda,” he said…….
The mines are on the doorstep of the area’s largest city, Jamshedpur. If radiation pollution isn’t controlled, more people will be affected in the future. Local officials, however, are proud of their role in India’s nuclear defense industry.
Anti-nuclear pollution activist Xavier Dias has been trying to alert locals about the dangers presented by the mines.
“When you are talking about Jamshedpur, you are talking about a thousand ancillary industries, a huge population,” he said. “These are dust particles that fly around. They enter the water, the fauna, flora, the food system. And they are killers, but they are slow killers. They kill over generations.” http://www.dw.de/indias-uranium-mines-expose-villages-to-radiation/a-17730703
Indian officials trash U.S. think-tank report THE HINDU, ATUL ANEJA 21 JUNE 14, Indian officials have trashed the report published by a military intelligence think tank based in the United States, which, citing satellite imagery alleged that New Delhi was covertly expanding its nuclear weapons programme.
The report is “mischievously timed,” ahead of a meeting on Monday of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in Buenos Aires, and is intended to divert focus from the real culprits of proliferation, said an official source, who did not wish to be named. “It is interesting that such reports questioning India’s nuclear credentials are planted at regular intervals,” he observed.
The Hindu carried a news report based on the findings published by the IHS Jane’s group that satellite imagery had revealed extension of the Mysore nuclear centrifuge plant, which could “substantially” expand India’s nuclear submarine fleet and support development of thermonuclear weapons…….
Defence officials told The Hindu, on conditions of anonymity, that India’s indigenously designed nuclear submarine Arihant has concluded “harbour trials” and final preparations are underway for an imminent commencement of “sea trials,” ahead of formal induction of the platform into the naval fleet. The nuclear submarine – which has a long undersea endurance – is central to India’s “second strike” capability, and its induction in the navy’s stables would complete the triad of nuclear delivery systems.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), that steers India’s weapons development programme is developing a string of submarine launched ballistic missiles including the K-4 which has a 2,000 kilometer range. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-officials-trash-us-thinktank-report/article6136856.ece
Russia agrees on India’s nuclear liability law http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/russia-agrees-on-indias-nuclear-liability-law/articleshow/36359852.cms MOSCOW: Russia has in principle agreed on the Indian nuclear liability law, paving the way for signing a contract for unit 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in July, Russian officials said today. “The (liability) law enacted is certainly challenging. We are working with our colleagues (counterparts) in India and the issue has been resolved,” said Kirill Komarov, Deputy Director General on Development and International business, Rosatom State Corporation. “We have just signed the protocol. The approvals will take some time. We have are awaiting nod from the Indian side. The India’s over view authority (Atomic energy Regulatory Board) is yet to give its nod. “They are also checking seismic activity in the area. So by July we should be ready with a roadmap after which we can start implementing the General Framework Agreement signed between the two countries,” said told a press conference. Unit 1 of the KKNPP has attained 100 per cent capacity of 1000 MW while the second unit should start generating power from this year. Units 1 and 2 of Tamil Nadu-based Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) have been built with the help of Russian assistance at the cost of Rs 17,200 crore. Insuring nuclear power plants is a daunting task because of its high cost and there is no single governmental insurance entity in the country that can insure these installations .. .. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/36359852.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
India Seeks More Security Measures for Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant New Indian Express, By Prashant Rangnekar 9 June 14 MOSCOW: India has sought “enhanced security measures” for the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant after the Fukushmia Daichi atomic disaster in Japan, Russia said.
“This can lead to immediate stopping of chain reaction in case of crisis. The system will ensure water supply for cooling of the reactor even if there is a black out for 24 hours,” Asmolov said.
He was speaking at the sidelines of Atom2014 Expo, a conference organised by Rosatom, a Russian state atomic energy body……
Anti-nuclear activists and People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) have been spearheading more than a two-year-old protest against KNPP in Tirunelveli, demanding its closure, citing safety reasons.http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/India-Seeks-More-Security-Measures-for-Koodankulam-Nuclear-Power-Plant/2014/06/09/article2271651.ece
India’s energy future: Australian coal or renewable revolution? The Conversation, Craig Froome Global Change Institute – Clean Energy Program Manager at University of Queensland “…….…Renewable revolution?
India’s renewable energy ambitions are driven both by the need to reduce carbon emissions and by falling renewableenergy prices (relative to increasing coal prices).
Currently India has four renewable energy schemes. They are:
- Renewable Mix Target (Electricity)
- Renewable Capacity Target
- Renewable Portfolio Standard (PAT Scheme)
- Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission
The Renewable Mix Target sets a target of 15% of India’s total electricity generation by 2020. This target ignores large-scale hydroelectricity, but with renewable energy generation currently at 12% India is in a good starting position.
The Renewable Capacity Target is a target for installed capacity. Set in 2012, it aims for 41.3 gigawatts of installed renewable capacity by 2017, increasing to 72.4 gigawatts by 2022. As of March 31 India has 29.5 gigawatts installed capacity. The capacity target also sets ambitions for individual technologies 4 to 20 gigawatts of solar capacity, and 20.2 gigawatts to 27.3 gigawatts of wind energy by 2017 and 2022. Solar and wind currently stand at 2.2 and 20.2 gigawatts respectively.
The portfolio standard is a cap-and-trade scheme, due to end in 2015. Current estimates suggest the scheme has had the desired effect, and rules for continuing the scheme are being considered.
Finally, the solar mission is a solar-specific program to increase grid-based generation to 20 gigawatts by 2020, funded by a national feed-in tariff. More than 80 solar manufacturers are now establishing in India in anticipation for the roll out……..http://theconversation.com/indias-energy-future-australian-coal-or-renewable-revolution-26569
Narendra Modi government may go slow on nuclear energy expansion: PwC, The Economic Times, May 27, 2014, MUMBAI: The new government may put on the back-burner a plan to install 20 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity in the country by 2020 and instead focus on wind and solar to achieve energy security, says PwC……….
Rather than nuclear, the Modi government may focus on increasing wind and solar power capacity, especially when these models worked successfully in Gujarat, Mohapatra said.
The power, coal, and new and renewable energy portfolios in the Modi Cabinet are held by Piyush Goyal, who is from Maharashtra, where BJP ally Shiv Sena was opposing the 9,900 MW Jaitapur nuclear project……..An industry expert from KPMG, who did not want to be identified, said that before the new government takes any decision on nuclear power, it will first have to tackle issues of supply chain, safety and acceptance from locals. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-05-27/news/50122504_1_energy-security-power-capacity-nuclear-power
China agrees North Korea’s nuclear activities a serious threat, says South Mon May 26, 2014 SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea and China agreed on Monday that recent nuclear activity by North Korea posed a serious threat to the peace and stability of the region and Pyongyang must not conduct a nuclear test, Seoul said after a meeting of their top diplomats.
Renewed activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site has indicated Pyongyang may be preparing a fourth nuclear test in contravention of U.N. sanctions.
Analysis have suggested the North may be close to miniaturising a nuclear warhead to mount on a missile, alarming regional powers that have for two decades tried to rein in Pyongyang’s atomic programme.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with his South Korea counterpart Yun Byung-se to discuss the North’s nuclear programme, as well as an upcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Seoul this year, South Korea’s foreign ministry said.
“The two ministers agreed to step up cooperation based on the united position that they object to the North’s nuclear test and that recent nuclear activities by the North pose a serious threat to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the region,” the ministry said.
China, North Korea’s lone major ally, is usually very guarded in its opinion on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, usually expressing its desire for a nuclear-free “Korean peninsula” and careful not to be seen to be taking sides…….http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKBN0E61LJ20140526
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