Hiroshima Day, August 6: Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti organises protest

The Editors,
All Pune Newspapers

Protest against commencement of work for building Nuclear Power Plant at Jaitapur, district Ratnagiri on Hiroshima Day, August 6, 2010

Date: Friday, August 6, 2010
Venue: Near Tilak Putla, Mahatma Phule Mandai, Pune
Organised by: Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti

Dear Editor,

As you are aware, the government is proposing to build the world’s biggest Nuclear Power Plant at Jaitapur, District Ratnagiri, which is roughly 400 kms from Pune. The people of the area organised under the banner of Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti have been vociferously protesting against the proposal as it would destroy their environment and livelihoods. They filed more than 600 objections when the Environmental public hearing took place. The NPCIL and the Ministry of Environment and Forests have yet to answer their objections.

Even before the government has given a formal clearance to the project, and ignoring the people’s protests against the plant, the NPCIL during the last one week has sent in contractors to begin work at the plant site, under heavy police protection. The people have heroically protested, and the police have launched a reign of terror in the village to browbeat the villagers and suppress them.

Unlike the lies being told out by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), Nuclear power plants are not safe and green, nor is nuclear electricity cheap. If there is a major accident at the plant, the entire area will have to be evacuated, and the effects of radiation will last a mind-boggling 20, 000 years. Then, there is the huge problem of nuclear waste disposal, no solution for which has been found so far, and a solution is difficult as it is radioactive for more than 2 lakh years, and storing highly radioactive waste for that long a period is simply impossible! Finally, any nuclear power plant continously releases limited amount of radiation into the atmosphere, which causes diseases like cancer in the people living around the plant.

This is why no new orders for a nuclear power plant have been placed in the United States of America for the last 30 years, ever since the Three Mile Island accident took place in 1979. And after the Chernobyl accident took place in Europe, the nuclear power industry went into a rapid decline, and only two reactors have been ordered in the last 30 years. These also were ordered a few years ago, and their construction also has run into trouble with nuclear safety authorities.

In such a scenario, building new nuclear plants in India, that too with untested technology as the government is doing in Jaitapur, where it has signed an agreement with a French Company AREVA to supply reactors, is an invitation to disaster. On top of it, the government is considering passing a bill in Parliament, the Nuclear Liability Bill, to free the company of all liability in case of an accident. This is simply terrible, a complete abdication of its duty to the people of India.

We strongly protest this decision of the government to start work at the Jaitapur plant site. To protest this, we are organising a public meeting on Hiroshima Day, August 6. Do send a reporter and photographer to cover the protest.

In solidarity,

Neeraj Jain, Medha Thatte


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