nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Unprecedented repression of anti nuclear protest in India

The state has unleashed savage repression on Jaitapur’s people. It routinely arrests and serves externment notices to peaceful protesters, and promulgates prohibitory orders, under which eminent citizens like former Navy chief L. Ramdas and former Supreme Court judge P.B. Sawant were barred from Jaitapur, and former Bombay High Court judge B.G. Kolse-Patil was detained for five days without being produced before a magistrate within 24 hours. Others have had false charges framed against them,

Nuclear trouble in Maharashtra, The Daily Star, 3 Feb 2011, Praful Bidwai Imagine a beautiful ecosystem with virgin rainforests, great mountains and immense plant, animal and marine biodiversity, in which two great rivers (Krishna and Godavari) originate. Combine it with a flourishing farming, fisheries and horticultural economy, which grows the world-famous Alphonso mango.And you have the Jaitapur-Madban region in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, in the Konkan strip of the Western Ghats.

Now, suppose a monstrous force wanted to destroy this ecosystem. What better way than nuking it? That’s precisely what Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and the government are doing, by erecting six giant (1,650 MW) reactors designed by the French firm Areva.

Jaitapur will become the world’s largest nuclear power station, generating 9,900 MW, or more than double India’s current nuclear capacity (4,780 MW). It will also wreck 40,000 people’s livelihoods and generate electricity that” three to five times costlier than power from other sources, thus magnifying the economic disaster called Enron, also located in Ratnagiri.

However, Jaitapur will be a nuclear Enron — capable, like all commercial reactors, of undergoing a catastrophic accident like Chernobyl in 1986, which killed an estimated 65,000 to 110,000 people from radiation-induced cancers and other effects.

Such fears are not alarmist. Scientists and engineers who have designed, operated or licensed nuclear reactors warn that they are all susceptible to an accident in which the fission chain reaction goes out of control, leading to a loss of coolant (usually water, to rapidly remove heat from the reactor), eventually melting the core and releasing huge quantities of radioactivity.

This likelihood is low, but its consequences are wholly unacceptable.

The Jaitapur project could be riskier because it’s in a seismically active zone and based on an untested reactor design — Areva’s European Pressurised Reactor. The EPR design hasn’t been cleared by nuclear regulators anywhere. Yet, India wants to install six EPRs………

The state has unleashed savage repression on Jaitapur’s people. It routinely arrests and serves externment notices to peaceful protesters, and promulgates prohibitory orders, under which eminent citizens like former Navy chief L. Ramdas and former Supreme Court judge P.B. Sawant were barred from Jaitapur, and former Bombay High Court judge B.G. Kolse-Patil was detained for five days without being produced before a magistrate within 24 hours.Others have had false charges framed against them, including attempt to murder. The higher judiciary has refused them anticipatory bail. This unprecedented repression resembles the police raj in Maharashtra’s Naxalite-affected areas.

In what has become a massive assault on democracy, the government lies to, ignores, or beats the local people at will……

The people oppose the project because it will destroy their livelihoods, just as the Tarapur reactors nearby have done.

They know of the hazards of radiation and the DAE’s poor safety performance, including the exposure of hundreds in Tarapur to radiation exceeding permissible limits, genetic deformities from uranium mining in Jaduguda, and higher-than-normal incidence of cancers near reactors.

The villagers have launched a non-cooperation or civil disobedience movement. Over 95% have refused the Rs.10 lakhs-an-acre compensation for land; most of those who accepted it are absentee landowners living in Mumbai. Nuclear trouble in Maharashtra

Advertisements

February 3, 2011 - Posted by | civil liberties, India

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: