Pokhran at 22: Selected articles and videos on the Perils of a Nuclear South Asia - On the 22nd anniversary of India's Pokhran nuclear tests of 1998, we are re-posting a select few commentaries, articles, and videos for our readers The p...
Written By Krishna on Monday, September 10, 2012 | 4:28 AM
Stop Terrorizing and Violating Democratic Rights of People to Fulfill Your Nuclear Dreams Mr. Singh !
NAPM Writes to NHRC, NCW and CM asking for immediate stopping of Police Action
New Delhi, September 10 : NAPM together with Pennurimai Iyakkam and numerous other movements supports the valiant struggle of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) for a nuclear free environment. The present situation in Idintakarai and surrounding villages is heart rending, as thousands of people are compelled to lock their houses and move closer to the nuclear plant to express their resolve to obstruct the loading of fuel. As photographs have shown, there are large numbers of women and children of all ages in the crowd, braving the sun, sand and sea and thousands of police force.
People are determined to avoid violence. They are not afraid of the police, because their pre-occupation is with the impending nuclear radiation and the protection of their livelihood, including their sorrow regarding future generations. They are true guardians of Life! We condemn the lathi charge, lobbing of tear gas shella and illegal arrests of the protesters and slapping of various charges including that of Sedition.
In stark contrast, the haste with which the nuclear establishment is pushing the loading of fuel is once again showing the unbelievable callousness with which destructive energy policies are imposed on peoples’ lives in our country. The concerns raised by PMANE remains to be resolved and stilll the government is hell bent of going ahead with its nuclear dreams :
There has never been an Environmental Impact Assessment for Units 1 and 2, because EIA was not legally required in May 1989 when clearance was first given. The renewal of the clearance on September 2001 also ignored the need for EIA and Public Hearing with project affected people (PAP), though EIA and Public Hearing had been made compulsory in 1994 and 1997 respectively. While this proceeding can be strenuously upheld legally, it clearly does not assure the people living in this area of their safety or the willingness to listen to their voices.
NPCIL has been consistently refusing to share the Site Evaluation and Safety Analysis Report with the people, even though the Central Information Commission had ordered to provide such information before May 2012. The reason given for the refusal is that the documents belong to a Russian Company, which is a “third party”.
There are many health and environmental hazards which have been ignored and regarding which no answer has been given.
According to design documents published in 2006, there was no weld on the belt line of the reactor, where as now the AERB says that there are two welds in the installed reactor pressure vessel. This makes the vessel more accident prone.
For nuclear safety, fresh water reserves are a must to guarantee the functioning of the cooling system. As of now, desalination plants are used in order to spare Pechiparai dam water for agriculture, which is indeed necessary for food security. The environmental impact of four desalination plants has also not been assessed.
For effective intervention in case of accident, safety drills for evacuation are compulsory. Except for one fake drill in a small hamlet called Nakkaneri, no attempt has been made to have safety drills, because it may lead people to doubt the assurance of infallible safety.
There is a contestation regarding the nuclear waste. Originally, the waste was supposed to be taken back by Russia, but now it is envisaged that it should be either disposed of near the plant, or be transported over long distances within India. None of this is acceptable, as there is no way of safe disposal of nuclear waste anywhere in the world.
This is indeed a terrifying situation. It borders on a miracle that people have been entirely peaceful and non violent. Women and children have been the backbone of the struggle and the men have been admirably supportive and have restrained themselves from venting their anger and frustration. All of this deserves deep respect and utmost support.
We appeal to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to rethink radically on nuclear energy and to stop KKNPP immediately.
We appeal to all citizens of good will to widely support the struggle against nuclear energy and to develop and propagate sustainable alternatives. We are aware that this requires many changes in lifestyle and development models.
We appeal to the State government to withdraw all the cases against the people, especially charges of sedition. The struggling people stand firmly on the ground of the Constitution, valiantly defending the right to Life and Livelihood.
NAPM, CNDP, Delhi Solidarity Group, Greenpeace and many other groups also staged a dharna at Tamil Nadu Bhawan today protesting the atrocity against the people and demanded immediate scrapping of the nuclear power plant. We have also written to Chairperson, NHRC and National Commission of Women for immediate intervention in the situation and protect the rights of the people protesting the destruction unleashed by the government in name of development.