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Protesters against proposed N-power plant in Gujarat fear Central move may accelerate land acquisition

By Our Representative
After a gap of nearly six months, a series of protests seemed to once again shake the sleepy Mithi Virdi village, not very far from Gujarat’s south Saurashtra coast, where the Government of India has proposed a 6000 MW nuclear power plant. Led by Vadodara-based environmental organization Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), the protesters feared that recent efforts to water down the new Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 might only aggravate the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd’s move to acquire land near Mithi Virdi.
In March this year, the gram panchayats of five villages passed a resolution declaring the entire Mithi Virdi-Jasapara region as nuclear free and agricultural zone, saying they would not like to part with the land for the project. The plant is proposed on a 777 hectares of prime agricultural land. “Instead of plugging loopholes of the Act, the Government of India is proposing to remove crucial provisions related to consent and social impact assessment from the law”, a statement jointly issued by PSS and

Bhavnagar Jilla Gram Bachao Samiti said. Mithi Virdi falls in Bhavnagar district.
Sarpanches of four villages – Shaktisinh Gohil of Jaspara, Prithvirajsinh Gohil of Khadpara, Vilasaba Gohil of Mandva, and Samuben Dabhi of Mithi Virdi — participated in the meetings, in which people from the villages likely to be affected by the nuclear plant participated. Following the meetings, the villagers gathered to take a pledge that they wished to “ensure clean air, potable water, fertile lands, nutritious, uncontaminated food and secure life for the future generations”, adding, they will do “all that is possible to save and protect the land, agriculture, agricultural products and seeds.”

The pledge said, “We will stop all industries and nuclear power plants that pose risk to our food, health and environment. We will protest against the genetically modified crops and the resulting contamination of the natural seeds through them. We will continue our consistent struggle against the so-called development policy that contaminate agriculture, land and water while seeking GDP growth. We will strive to save the society from all companies – national and multinationals that seeks profits at any cost.”

The protesters were of the view that efforts were being made to propagate that the area of the nuclear power plant is barren and un-inhabited, but a visit there belied all these assumptions. “It is perhaps from this mistaken presumption that the proposal for a 6000 MW nuclear power plant spread over 777 hectares on this green lush land must have taken place”, the protesters were quoted as saying, adding, “Presently on this 777 hectare of land spread in Jasapara, Mithivirdi, Khadarpar, Mandva stand 50,000 fruit trees. Also, bajra, cotton, groundnut, onions and other crops are sown year round due to irrigation facilities.”

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Modi on a nuclear shopping spree, with Manmohan Singh’s old bag in his hand

Kumar Sundaram

If untamed inflation, cries of corruption and impunity of ministers with serious criminal cases were not enough to give us a feel of continuity with the last government, the new Indian PM’s foreign visits would definitely provide us with the familiar air of the Congress government. On the sidelines of the ongoing BRICS meet, Modi has invited Vladimir Putin for a visit to Koodankulam in December this year when the second reactor in Koodankulam is supposed to be started. Earlier this month, Narendra Modi assured the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of no rethink on the Jaitapur project where France’s nuclear giant Areva has been contracted to set up the world’s largest nuclear power park. Modi is expected to visit Japan soon to finalise a nuclear supply agreement. Later in September he will be visiting the United States where again furthering nuclear commerce would be a highlight.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS 2014 summit in Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday. Photo: AP

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BRICS 2014 summit in Fortaleza, Brazil on Tuesday. Photo: AP

While in the opposition for last ten years, Modi’s party criticised the old government’s nuclear policy. Although the party was not against nuclear power plants or international nuclear agreements as such, but it did support specific objections raised against the nuclear projects the Congress government was implementing. It strongly objected to the Government of India’s attempts to exempt foreign suppliers from nuclear liability, calling it a blatant capitulation. The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) also strongly opposedIndia signing the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, based on its own nationalist logic that such an intrusive inspection will deny the country of the required flexibility in maintaining a credible deterrence. However, the Modi government ratified the same Protocol Agreement soon after taking charge.

In 2010, the BJP had sought a review of the environmental clearance given to the Jaitapur project on the eve of the visit of the then French president Nicholas Sarkozy. Not only the cost of the same reactor has gone thrice higher since then – more than 50 billion euros, the Fukushima accident has exposed the inherently unforgiving nature of the nuclear technology forcing a reversal of nuclear programs in several countries. The particular design being set up by Areva in Jaitapur – the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) has come under intense criticism from the regulating agency STUK in Finland where the same design is being constructed in Olkiluoto. Even the French regulator and the auditor have castigated Areva for its design being too expensive. In a joint statement at the start of this year, the nuclear regulators of France, UK and Finland jointly issued a statement asking Areva to improve the EPR’s safety system. The three agencies have been issuing such calls since 2009. In India, the same unsafe design is being set up with additional risk factors like non-independence of the nuclear regulator, increased adverse impacts due to dense population and seismically sensitive geology which the government has overlooked.

BJP on Koodankulam 2011

BJP supported the agitators demands in Koodankulam, 2011

Same with the Koodankulam project in the southern India. In 2011, the BJP believed that people’s objections and fears over Koodankulam are valid and genuine. The Manmohan Singh government neglected the serious questions about the safety, environmental impacts, effects on the local community’s livelihoods, absence of liability provisions for the Russian suppliers, the scam in Russia pertaining to the supply of sub-standard equipments in which a director of the company was arrested, and brutally repressed the local people’s massive peaceful agitation. But now the BJP government under Modi has done a nuclear u-turn and its government is not just enthusiastic about Reactor No. 2 in Koodankulam, but also about agreements for reactor no. 3 and 4 with Russia, for which the Russian company Atomsroyexport has demanded an exemption from Nuclear Liability Act, duly passed by the Indian parliament.

Modi will also be visiting Tokyo in the end of August to finalise a nuclear supply agreement with Japan. This deal has been long pending despite immense pressure from the nuclear industry inside Japan, and also the nuclear lobbies from US and France whose proposed projects are being delayed in India. While the two nuclear giant of the US – GE and Westinghouse – have now majority stake from Hitachi and Toshiba, the French Areva’s EPR design being set up in India would also require crucial components supplied by Japanese companies. Even before Fukushima, the peace groups and Hibakushas in Japan have been opposed to the agreement as it sets a bad precedent: India has not signed the NPT and CTBT and has conducted nuclear tests, supplying it with more technology will encourage newer countries to go for atomic bombs and then renegotiate their international status.

In June, the Modi government ratified the IAEA’s Additional Protocol, much to the consternation of the hawkish international affairs pundits who would have wanted Modi to follow their grand strategic vision. They lamented that the Protocol has closed the loop on the nuclear deal, making any further thermonuclear tests much more expensive diplomatically and in terms of the energy disruption – supply of fuel and technology for all imported reactors would be discontinued in case of a test.

But more curiously, the industry mouthpiece like ‘The Economist’ found in it an opportunity to push their own agenda: the dilution of nuclear liability law in India. The magazine advised Modi to use his hefty majority in the parliament to ammend the liability law passed by the parliament in 2010, as it is a ‘deterrent’ for the global corporates, putting ‘heavy financial responsibility on suppliers and contractors in case of an accident.’ The Economist urged Modi to move fast on this and revise the Act before the budget session, and definitely before the new PM’s visit to Washington in September this year.

BJP nuclear liability

BJP’s earlier position on nuclear liability

The Section 17(b) of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010 allows the nuclear operator, the NPCIL, a right to recourse against the supplier in case of an accident. the nuclear industry globally. This clause ensuring limited hook on the suppliers could be inserted into the Act by the sheer coincidence that the discussion in the parliament took place around the same time when the Supreme Court verdict on Bhopal generated heated debates around the indemnification of Dow Chemicals. However, the government subsequently did every effort to dilute the suppliers’ liability – by introducing clauses in the law necessitating a prior mention of the liability provision in the bilateral contract between the supplier and the operator, and later more nefariously by inserting product liability period of just 5 years in the Rules designed under the Act for its implementation. Eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee termed the Rules “ultra vires” of the Act and going against its spirit, when Greenpeace sought his legal opinion on the issue. The US has kept up the pressure on India to amend the liability norms, even during the recent courtesy visit of Nicholas Burns to warm up to the new administration in India. Japan has also sought similar changes in the law. Will Modi now pander to the corporate interests and dilute the suppliers’ liability by amending the law, and offer his own version of the perfect gift to the US during his visit?

Nuclear issues have been a wild-card in the Indian politics in the recent years, affecting quite a few unexpected turns. Manmohan Singh who as a Finance Minister discouraged nuclear energy in the early 1990s for economic reasons, found merit in the same for political reason during his bonhomie with George W. Bush’s America. The former PM got so obsessed with the nuclear deal that he put his government at the stake in 2008 and also allegedly even struck a deal with the BJP to loosen the CBI hook on Narendra Modi who was then facing serious charges of abetting communal violence in Gujarat in 2002. It would not be surprising if Modi uses the nuclear chip to enhance his stature with the US and other international powers looking for a pie in India’s nuclear market.

It appears that India’s anachronistic push for nuclear energy in the face of global shift away from nuclear power after Fukushima is evidently independent of any domestic regime change and reflects the consensus of the ruling elite to use its own people’s lives and ecological risks as a bargain chip at the international stage. If there were any doubts because the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) had opposed the India-US nuclear agreement in the parliament when it was in the opposition, its newly formed government has put an emphatic end to them. Both in terms of squandering the lessons of Fukushima and repressing the dissident voices on nuclear issues, Modi will run faster with the torch he has inherited from his predecessor.

 

Read more here –  http://www.dianuke.org/modi-on-nuclear-shopping-spree-with-manmohan-singhs-old-bag-in-his-hand/

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Modi’s Nuclear Diplomacy: Same Drug,Stronger Dose

 

Power at the expense of safety? The Modi government may seek to dilute the liability laws that would indict nuclear energy suppliers in the event ofan accident

Kumar Sundaram Delhi 

The responses to India’s ratification of the IAEA’s Additional Protocol have been rather curious. The Left parties have been completely silent on the move, which they earlier claimed would jeopardise national security by allowing intrusive international inspections. This might be due to their own disarray or simply because the Protocol’s ratification was just a long-pending step of the Indo-US nuclear deal already concluded by the previous government.

On the other hand, the response of nuclear hawks like Bharat Karnad is to scoff at the Congress-era bureaucrats interests and inertia in the MEA. They are lamenting that the Protocol has closed the loop on the nuclear deal, making any further thermonuclear tests much more expensive diplomatically and in terms of the energy disruption – supply of fuel and technology for all imported reactors would be discontinued in case of a test. Karnad goes further in criticising  South Block and is pained that the foreign policy machine is not letting Modi’s grand vision and geostrategic guidelines materialise.

But, more curiously, industry mouthpieces, like The Economist, have found in it an opportunity to push their own agenda: the dilution of the nuclear liability law in India. The magazine has advised Modi to use his hefty majority in Parliament to amend the liability law passed in 2010 as it is a ‘deterrent’ for global corporates, putting ‘heavy financial responsibility on suppliers and contractors in case of an accident’. The Economist has urged Modi to move fast on this and revise the Act before the budget session, and definitely before the new PM’s visit to Washington in September this year. Last year, Manmohan Singh had similarly offered a dilution of the liability law during his US trip, as a ‘gift’. However, all he could muster was a favourable interpretation of the Act, not an amendment. Not surprisingly, it didn’t make the US happy enough. The BJP then had taken a strong objection to this gift.

Not only the international mainstream media, but also Indian newspapers like The Indian Express and DNA have strongly demanded a revision in the liability law on the occasion, as even Indian corporations would get their share in the nuclear pie as sub-suppliers and sub-sub-suppliers. Both The Economist and the Indian media editorials have pointed out that signing of the Additional Protocol only closes the loop on India being a ‘responsible’ nuclear power, but the main hurdle in the entry of the private players remains the liability law. In his op-ed in The Hindu, the Manmohan Singh government’s special envoy, Rakesh Sood, has also argued for limiting of the suppliers’ liability, albeit with a little more fine-balancing.

Section 17(b) of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010, allows the nuclear operator, the NPCIL, the right to recourse against the supplier in case of an accident. This clause, ensuring limited hook on the suppliers, could be inserted into the Act by the sheer coincidence that the discussion in Parliament took place around the same time the Supreme Court verdict on Bhopal generated heated debates around the indemnification of Dow Chemicals. However, the government subsequently made every effort to dilute the suppliers’ liability – by introducing clauses in the law necessitating prior mention of the liability provision in the bilateral contract between the supplier and the operator, and later more nefariously by inserting product liability period of just five years in the Rules designed under the Act for its implementation. Eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee termed the Rules ‘ultra vires of the Act and going against its spirit, when Greenpeace sought his legal opinion on the issue.

Will Modi heed the corporate voices and dilute the suppliers’ liability by amending the law, and offer his own perfect gift to the US? If we see the unceremonious desertion of the BJP’s own long standing reservation on the IAEA agreement as a sign of things to come, it seems a strong possibility. And there are other more ominous signs. While on the one hand, Modi’s concerned minister has openly declared that green clearances will not be an obstacle in economic growth any longer, the Home Ministry and Intelligence Bureau have started hounding the NGOs and civil society voices, including grassroots agitating groups as well as reputed individuals.

The recent IB report reduces the diverse socio-political landscape of India, which is yet to find a proper way to express and address the destruction unleashed by religious and market fundamentalisms, into a caricature of conspiracy against the nation. While the militarist hawks competing with ostriches only fits the paranoid corporate state that India is fast becoming, the alarming crisis of our democracy is revealed.
The massive expansion of nuclear energy envisaged by the Indian government, and the new regime’s continued support for such policy, is itself a direct result of the government’s commitment to the nuclear supplying countries. India made advance promises for reactor purchases from France’s Areva, Russia’s Atomsroyexport and American nuclear giants like Westinghouse and GE in exchange for these countries’ support for an exemption for India at the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) in 2008, when essentially India’s nuclear weapons were legitimised and it was allowed an entry into international nuclear commerce.

 

It is under the pressure of the above commitment to the international nuclear lobby that the Indian government has been bulldozing everything that came in the way of implementing them – undermining and  diluting safety norms ironically in a post-Fukushima world, pushing through environmental clerances at gun-point, neglecting the adverse economies of these projects, crushing democratic dissent at the grassroots and trying to exempt the nuclear suppliers from liability in case of any accident.

It is absurd that nuclear expansion is being pushed in an entirely anachronistic fashion, in a world in which a number of countries have moved away from nuclear power after Fukushima, and is being held as a ‘national economic security’ issue and voices against this hijacking of the country’s energy future are being silenced brazenly. France, the global nuclear lobby’s poster boy, decided to lower its appetite for nuclear energy and increase its reliance on renewable sources in the same week when India was witch-hunting its green activists.

While some of us thought we were witnessing a fine-balancing of democratic anxieties in the first fortnight of the Modi government the IB report, deliberately leaked to the media and turned into prime time frenzy, has actually sought to announce the complete neoliberal takeover of the state.

India’s anachronistic push for nuclear energy in the face of a global shift from nuclear power after Fukushima is evidently independent of any domestic regime change and reflects the consensus of the ruling elite to use its own people’s lives and ecological risks as a bargain chip at the international stage. If there were any doubts (because the BJP had opposed the India-US nuclear agreement in Parliament when it was in opposition), its newly formed government has put an emphatic end to them. Both in terms of squandering the lessons of Fukushima and repressing any dissident voices on nuclear issues, Modi will run faster with the torch he has inherited from his predecessor.

This story is from the print issue of Hardnews: JULY 2014

– See more at: http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2014/07/6361?page=2#sthash.g4EHSxOH.dpuf

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Anti nuclear struggle in India was funded by people

‘Our struggle was funded by the people’

A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN S.P. Udayakumar.

Interview with S.P. Udayakumar, coordinator, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy. By T.S. SUBRAMANIAN

S.P. UDAYAKUMAR, coordinator of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), was consistently in the news from September 2011 to July 2013 for his opposition to the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. His name is mentioned in the Intelligence Bureau (I.B.) report titled “Concerted Efforts by Select Foreign Funded NGOs to ‘take down’ Indian development projects”.

Paragraph three of the communication, dated June 3, 2014, signed by S.A. Rizvi, Joint Director of the I.B., says: “In 2011, anti-nuclear activism stalled the nearly commissioned Russian-assisted, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu. The protests were spearheaded by Ohio State University-funded, S.P. Udayakumar, and a host of Western-funded NGOs. The larger conspiracy was unravelled when a German national provided Udayakumar with a scanned map of all nuclear plants and uranium mining locations in India. The map included contact details of 50 Indian anti-nuclear activists, revealing an intricate network aimed to ‘take down’ India’s nuclear programme through NGO activism.”

The role of NGOs in mobilising opposition to the KKNPP came under scrutiny in 2012 after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Science magazine that “there are NGOs, often funded from the United States and the Scandinavian countries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces”.

It was in this context that Frontline interviewed Udayakumar. While his reply to the first question is taken from his Facebook page, he answered the other questions over telephone. Excerpts:

The I.B. report talks about your “deep and growing connection with the U.S. and German authorities….” It insinuates that the money you received from an unsolicited contract as a consultant with the Ohio State University could have been used to fuel the anti-Kudankulam nuclear power project agitation.

It is a ridiculous and libellous claim that I was contracted through NGOs and I was submitting “fortnightly reports” to them. In fact, I worked as an off-campus Research Fellow in the International Programme of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA, for several years. The Director of the Kirwan Institute was one Professor john a. powell [he does not use capital letters in his name], a reputed scholar in civil rights, who had been my employer at the Institute on Race and Poverty, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, USA, between Fall 1997 and Spring 2001. I had worked with him there as a Research Associate and Co-Director of Programmes and that was why he chose me for the Kirwan assignment. I travelled to the Ohio State University campus, Ohio, a few times also. For the Kirwan Institute, I did several research and writing assignments on globalisation, racism, minority welfare, BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa], etc. I never did any research and writing project on India’s development or India’s nuclear programme. I left that Research Fellow job in Spring 2011 when the Kirwan Institute reorganised itself under a new administration.

Similarly, Sonntag Rainer Hermann is not my “contact in Germany”. He was an acquaintance from Nagercoil, my home town in Tamil Nadu. He was a hippie-type, staying in a cheap hotel in Nagercoil, and participated in our anti-nuclear events. I did not receive any information or maps or monetary help from him, nor did I give him any. If he had done something illegal or dangerous, why did the Indian authorities deport him hurriedly without taking any legal action? I asked this question even when he was deported in February 2012.

In my humble opinion, the Indian authorities must begin to believe that “ordinary citizens” of India such as farmers and fisherfolk have a mind of their own and can take an intelligent stand on issues such as setting up a nuclear power park or other such dangerous projects in their backyard. Those who stand up, speak up and try to protect our illiterate people’s land, water, air, sea, food security and nutrition security should not be considered and insulted as foreign stooges, money launderers or smugglers.

The Indian authorities should acknowledge the simple fact that we do what we do because we love this country and its peoples. If this is how we—honest, responsible and law-abiding citizens—are treated, abused and harassed, this will only send wrong lessons to our youth and promote extremism and terrorism in the country. The I.B. report tends to blame all the hawala transactions, religious conversions, caste clashes… on the NGOs and their activities. This augurs ill for our country that has pluralistic ethos and democratic politics. I am afraid this fascist presupposition of the I.B. report is a precursor for stringent action against individuals, groups, people’s movements and minorities. As I have been singled out in this report and mentioned by name, I fear for my life and for my family’s safety and security….

The insinuation is that NGOs used the money sent to them from abroad for instigating the agitation at Idinthakarai against the Kudankulam project.

I have told you several times that no NGO money has been used for the struggle. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and V. Narayanasamy, then Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office [PMO], made similar allegations against us. If the allegations were true, why did they not take action against me? Why did they not arrest me? They are belittling us. They are humiliating us. They are playing a game. I have sent a legal notice to the Union Home Ministry. If there is no reply within a week, I will file a writ petition.

Soon after Manmohan Singh made the allegations in 2012, the Union Home Ministry revoked the licences given to three NGOs in Tamil Nadu for diverting funds from abroad for the anti-nuclear campaign at Kudankulam. Do your remember the NGOs’ names?

I do not know the names of these organisations. I read that they were taking action against some NGOs but I have never seen any government report or document, evidence and conclusions arrived at about the allegations against these NGOs.

The Centre froze the bank accounts of three NGOs—the Tuticorin Diocese Association; the Rural Uplift Centre, Nagercoil; and Good Vision.

I never had any contact with them. I had nothing to do with these NGOs. I never followed what they were doing. They never supported me in any of my activities.

You are running an NGO.

I am not running an NGO. I have a trust called SACCER [South Asian Community Centre for Education and Research] Trust. It is running a school. It is a legal requirement in Tamil Nadu to set up a trust to run a school.

Manmohan Singh said India’s nuclear power programme got into difficulties because NGOs, mostly based in the U.S., were working against it. Narayanasamy alleged that the NGOs, which were receiving money to do social service, were using it for anti-nuclear protests. You sent them legal notices because you said you were the convener of the movement and you assumed that these allegations were made against you. What happened to your legal notices? Did they reply to you?

Narayanasamy sent a reply to me, saying that he never made any such statement. The Prime Minister kept quiet. He never talked about this afterwards. There was absolutely no truth in that thing.

What thing?

That we received support from American and Scandinavian NGOs. I never had any help from Scandinavian NGOs…. My point is I never received even a single rupee from any Indian NGO or international NGO to conduct the struggle at Idinthakarai. For the past three years, they could not prove the allegations. If they prove the allegations, I am prepared to go to jail.

How have you been able to sustain the struggle?

First of all, it was funded by the local people. I have told you umpteen times that it was funded by fishermen, farmers, those who roll bidis, schoolchildren and people from many walks of life. Fishermen contributed 10 per cent of their income every two weeks. More importantly, ours was a Gandhian struggle, organised in a simple manner, in a frugal way. We did not raise any cut-outs, placards, banners or posters. You have seen the pandal and the frugal facilities we have at Idinthakarai. It was a down-to-earth, simple, people’s struggle. We did not have many requirements.

How do you plan to take the struggle forward?

I am doing anti-nuclear work as my duty. I see this anti-nuclear activity as the duty of an informed citizen in this democratic country. I do not have ulterior goals and hence I do not need any money from foreign countries or foreign agencies. India, being a highly and densely populated country, cannot afford to have a Fukushima-type of accident. So we are trying to prevent such calamities before they happen in India.

The third and fourth reactors are also going to come up at Kudankulam. Is this a setback to the PMANE?

We never started this struggle with the intention of physically stopping the plant. This is a democratic, peaceful movement, trying to raise people’s awareness about the dangers of nuclear power and nuclear weapons. We are hopeful this will happen sooner or later. We will change India’s nuclear policy. We do not expect results overnight. When educated and public-spirited people come forward and work for a public cause, they should not be insulted and hounded by the authorities. It is not good for our civil and political society.

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India nuke enrichment plant expansion operational in 2015 #WTFnews

BY DOUGLAS BUSVINE

NEW DELHI Fri Jun 20, 2014

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes out of a meeting room to receive his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay before the start of their bilateral meeting in New Delhi May 27, 2014. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes out of a meeting room to receive his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay before the start of their bilateral meeting in New Delhi May 27, 2014.

CREDIT: REUTERS/ADNAN ABIDI

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(Reuters) – India is expanding a covert uranium enrichment plant that could potentially support the development of thermonuclear weapons, a defense research group said on Friday, raising the stakes in a regional arms race with China and Pakistan.

The revelation highlights the lack of nuclear safeguards on India under new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while sanctions-bound Iran faces minute scrutiny in talks with world powers over its own nuclear program.

New units at the Indian Rare Metals Plant would boost India’s ability to produce weapons-grade uranium to twice the amount needed for its planned nuclear-powered submarine fleet, IHS Jane’s said.

The facility, located near Mysore in southern India, could be operational by mid-2015, the research group said, basing its findings on analysis of satellite imagery and public statements by Indian officials.

“Taking into account all the enriched uranium likely to be needed by the Indian nuclear submarine fleet, there is likely to be a significant excess,” Matthew Clements, editor of IHS Jane’s Intelligence Review, told Reuters.

“One potential use of this would be for the development of thermonuclear weapons.”

No comment was available from the Indian government press office or the foreign ministry.Pakistan reacted with consternation, with a senior aide to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying the news underscored India’s “established hegemony.”

“This is something that India has been trying to develop for a long time,” said Tariq Azeem. “We don’t want any nuclear race. That doesn’t bode well for either country.”

Unlike Iran, India is not a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. New Delhi tested its first nuclear weapon in 1974, provoking international sanctions that barred it from importing nuclear technology and materials.

It conducted tests again in 1998 that drew a quick response from Pakistan, triggering an arms race between the neighbors, who have fought three wars since independence in 1947.

A civil nuclear cooperation deal with the United States, sealed in 2008, gave India access to know-how and fuel in return for a pledge – so far unfulfilled – to bring in U.S. firms to expand India’s nuclear power generation capacity.

The pact exempts military facilities and stockpiles of nuclear fuel from scrutiny by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations watchdog. The Mysore plant is not subject to IAEA safeguards. The IAEA declined to comment.

The exemption, granted by the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush, faced opposition from China and Pakistan – India’s regional rivals – as well as European countries, which said it would undermine efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons.

In Washington, a State Department spokeswoman played down the IHS Jane’s report, saying the United States remained committed to its civil nuclear deal and strategic relationship with India.

“It’s one report … We’re not in a position to speculate on its conclusions,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“We remain fully committed to the terms of the (civil nuclear) agreement and to enhancing our strategic relationship,” she added. “Nothing we provide to India under the civ-nuke agreement may be used to enhance India’s military capability or add to its military stockpile, but we don’t have enough information or confirmation of the report to speak to that.”

 

SATELLITE VIEW

Based on its analysis of commercial satellite images, IHS Jane’s has identified what appears to be a new uranium hexafluoride plant that would increase the uranium enrichment capacity of the Mysore facility.

The plant would be able to produce a surplus of around 160 kilos a year of uranium enriched to 90 percent purity, IHS Jane’s reckons. That is roughly double the needs of the nuclear submarine fleet that India is developing to supplement its land-based missile arsenal – and enough to make five atomic bombs.

By blending the uranium with its existing stock of plutonium, India could develop thermonuclear weapons that have a more complex detonation process and greater force than simpler weapons.

“Whether or not India uses the plant mainly for fuel for reactors and naval vessels as is sometimes surmised, it adds to India’s already far greater advantage over Pakistan in terms of nuclear weapons production potential,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the non-proliferation program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“It also brings India closer to matching China, which is how most Indians would probably see it.”

The IHS findings have been corroborated by other analysts, with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) writing this week that the Mysore facility could signify India’s intent to move toward thermonuclear weapons.

India is estimated by SIPRI to hold 90 to 110 nuclear weapons in its arsenal.

The IHS Jane’s assessment revealed incremental progress at Mysore since the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), in a report last December, identified the construction of a new gas centrifuge plant.

India’s new Arihant class of submarine is assessed to have an 80-megawatt onboard reactor that contains around 65 kg of uranium. One submarine is operational, a second is being built and a third is planned, according to ISIS.

 

‘NO FIRST USE’

Modi, leader of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, in his first weeks in office has sought to assert New Delhi’s regional leadership while seeking to engage with major powers, such as the United States and China.

But although he invited Pakistan’s Sharif to his inauguration, Modi has made clear that any rapprochement would require a halt to occasional military clashes on the de facto frontier of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Before Modi’s landslide general election victory last month, sources close to his party had suggested India might abandon its “no first use” nuclear doctrine, which committed it to refrain from any pre-emptive strike.

Modi later denied any planned shift and vowed to uphold no first use, a signature policy of India’s last BJP prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who ordered the 1998 nuclear tests.

(Additional reporting by Sanjeev Miglani, Fredrik Dahl and Maria; Golovnina; editing by Jeremy Laurence, Clarence Fernandez and G Crosse)

 

Read more here – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/20/us-india-nuclear-idUSKBN0EV0JN20140620

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CNDP Statement on the anniversary of Pokhran nuclear tests #mustshare

May 13, 2014

 

On the anniversary of India’s May 11-13 1998 nuclear tests, the Coalition For Nuclear Disarmament And Peace(CNDP) reiterates its resolve to struggle for a nuclear weapons-free South Asia and world.

India’s peace-loving, democratic people continue to oppose the insanity that the nuclear tests represent, when a tiny ruling elite, led by a  Hindu-chauvinist government, betrayed the country’s long-standing values and traditions to chase false prestige via nuclear weapons and plunged India into a potentially ruinous nuclear arms race with China and Pakistan.

Sixteen years on, our region’s security situation has greatly worsened with stockpiling of bombs and building of new nuclear-capable missiles. the conventional arms race too has accelerated, and india has become the world’s largest arms importer.

India has contributed to the region’s destabilisation by expanding and diversifying its nuclear arsenal, and indulging in missile defence and multiple-warhead missile development.

The same communal-jingoist forces are again on the rise and threaten to harden India’s nuclear posture , with dangerous consequences. all sane and democratically minded Indians must oppose these forces and demand nuclear risk-reduction leading to disarmament.

On behalf of CNDP
Lalita Ramdas
Achin Vanaik
Abey George
Praful Bidwai
Kumar Sundaram

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International Uranium Film Festival comes to Mumbai- 18-20thApril

88th EDITION – International Uranium Film Festival

uranium

DAY 1 – FRIDAY, APRIL 18
11 am – 1.15 pm (ATOMIC BOMBS)

THE LAST FLOWER – Iran, 2013, 6 min,
Director: Sima Baghery, Fiction, Animation, no dialoge

ATOMIC BOMBS ON THE PLANET EARTH – UK/The Netherlands, 2011, 13 min, Experimental documentary.
Direction Peter Greenaway, production Video Design Irma de Vries,

NUCLEAR SAVAGE: THE ISLANDS OF SECRET PROJECT 4.1 – USA, 2012, 87 min, Marshallese & English
Director: Adam Jonas Horowitz

1.30 pm – 3.30 pm (NUCLEAR POWER IN USA)
YELLOWCAKE – USA, 2009, 10 min, Director: Brock Williams.www.boxcarfilms.com

TAILINGS – USA, 2012, 12 min, Director: Sam Price-Waldman, Documentary, English

THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA – USA, 2011, 92 min, English
Directors: Don Argott & Sheena M.Joyce,

4.00 pm – 7.30 pm (URANIUM MINING)
URANIUM – TO DIE FOR (HAZMAN HATZAHOV) – Israel, 2012, 54 min, Documentary,
Director: Shanny Haziza, Producer: Sasha Klein,

URANIUM: A POISONED LEGACY – France, 2009, 52 min,
Director: Dominique Hennequin, Production: Nomades TV, Charlotte Hennequin, Documentary, English

FOR THE SUPREME FIGHT (GERE DAN), India, 2014, 48 min, French/English with English subtitle.
Director: Shriprakash
Screening followed by discussion with the Director

DAY 2 – SATURDAY, APRIL 19
10.30 am – 1.00 pm (FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR ACCIDENT)
ABITA. CHILDREN FROM FUKUSHIMA – Germany, 2012, 4 min, Animation, English subtitles
Directors: Shoko Hara and Paul Brenner,

FORBIDDEN GROUND FUKUSHIMA – Japan, 2012, 57 min, Japanese, English subtitles
Director and Producer: Kazunori Kurimoto,

TOKYO’S BELLY – Germany, 2013, 70 min, English subtitles
Director: Reinhild Dettmer-Finke

2 pm – 4.00 pm (NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS)
INDIAN POINT, NOWHERE TO RUN – USA, 29 min

WOMEN OF FUKUSHIMA – Japan, 2012, 27 min, English subtitles
Director: Paul Johannessen

GET UP STAND UP – India, 2012, 34 min, Documentary, Tamil/Malayalam and English, English Subtitles
Direction Sreemith.

HIGH POWER – India, 2013, 27 min, Documentary,Marathi/English, English subtitles
Director and Producer: Pradeep Indulkar

4.30 pm – 7.30 pm (HIBAKUSHA – ATOMIC BOMB SURVIVERS)
08:15 OF 1945 – Argentina/Brazil, 2012, 78 minutes, Documentary, Portuguese with English Subtitles
director Roberto Fernandez
(15 minute break)
HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI DOWNLOAD – Mexico/Japan, 2010, 73 min, Documentary, Japanese/English
Shinpei Takeda and Eiji Wkamatsu,

DAY 3 – SUNDAY, APRIL 20
11 am – 12.30 pm Panel Discussion
1. Anand Patwardhan– Eminent Documentary Film Maker whose filmography includes films like War And Peace, Ram Ke Naam and Jai Bhim Comrade
2. Satyajeet Chavan- Prolific writer and activist involved in anti-nuclear struggle at Jaitapur
3. Dilnaz Boga- Journalist and Researcher who has written and worked extensively on environment and resistance movements
4. Rajendra Phatarpekar- Energy Management MBA and anti-nuclear activist who promotes greater advocacy for renewable energy solutions
5. Vivek Sundara- Environmental activist, convener of JAPA (Justice And Peace For All), will moderate the discussion

1.30 pm – 4.00 pm (NEW ATOMIC WARS AND URANIUM WEAPONS)
URANIUM 238: THE PENTAGON´S DIRTY POOL – Costa Rica, 2009, 28 min, Documentary, English, Spanish subtitles
Direction Pablo Ortega, production Isabel Macdonald

FALLUJA, A LOST GENERATION? – Iraq / France, 2011, 48 min, Documentary, English
Director: Feurat Alani,

ANATOMY OF A BOMB – Italy, 2006, 22 min, Documentary, English
directions Flaviano Masella, Angelo Saso and Maurizio Torrealta, production Rainews24.

THE THIRD NUCLEAR BOMB, THE VETERAN´S ACCUSATION – Italy, 2008, 26 min, Documentary,
Direction Maurizio Torrealta, production Rainews24,

4.30 pm – 7.30 pm (NEW FICTION MOVIES ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER)
FAIRLIGHTS – Germany, 2013, min, Animation, Musical,
Directors: Ilinca Höpfner & Helge Henning

EXCLUSION ZONE – Spain, 2011, 13 min, Fiction movie, English subtitles
Director: Omar Kardoudi,

YURI’S OMEN – Spain, 2012, 14 min, Fiction movie, English subtitles
Director: Jordi Montornés,

CURIOSITY KILLS – Estonia, 2012, 14 min, no dialog, Comedy Thriller,
Director: Sander Maran, Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School; Estonian Academy of Arts,

(15 min break)

ATOMIC IVAN – Russia, 2012, 91 min, Romantic Comedy, Russian, English subtitles
Director: Vasily Barkhatov, Producer: Telesto Film Company

Venue
RR Theatre III, 10th Floor, Films Division
Pedder Road, Mumbai

 

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Solar power is the best & natural substitution for energy needs

 

 

AK RAMDAS | 11/03/2014 02:16 PM |   Moneylife.com

 

What India truly needs is the setting up of small and medium size solar panel manufacturers who can offer turn-key jobs to individual houses

 

English: On 140 acres of unused land on Nellis...
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is the nodal agency established by the union government for implementing solar projects in the country. SECI has tied up with Japan International Cooperation Agency for raising funds for the initial infrastructure development and plans to provide loans to developers at low rate of interest that could vary between 4% and 5%.

 

SECI plans to set up a 1,000 MW solar park in Mehboobnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, in the Telengana region. This will be located on a 5,000 acre area, according to Rajendra Nimje, managing director of SECI. As per present plans, the entire capacity will come up in the next 18 to 24 months, and the Collector of Mehboobnagar has agreed to make available necessary infrastucture, at an estimated outlay of Rs600 crore. To facilitate the work, Solar Energy has entered into an agreement with Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation for facilitation of land.

 

Developers will be chosen through competitive bidding while the basic infrastructure is made ready in four to six months. It is expected that most solar units in the park will be in 10 MW capacity some are expected to be larger.

 

SECI has other ambitious plans too. One of the largest solar parks in the world will be set up with a 4,000 MW capacity in Rajasthan, while three others are planned in Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, besides a second one in Andhra Pradesh. It is estimated that the unit rate for sale could be around Rs5.50 which compares with the rate for power being sold in most states to the end consumer.

 

Nimje expects that SECI would be able to achieve the target of 10,000 MW of solar power by 2017. Karnataka, its neighbour, has similar solar energy plans and expect to announce its solar energy policy soon. Karnataka minister for power, DK Shivkumar stated that the government would encourage people to take up roof top solar energy to be tapped for their own family use and make available the excess to the State grid, for which a good price would be paid by the government.
In fact, it is proposed that the government would make it mandatory and ask all new building owners to have provisions for providing solar energy on the roof top. The proposed policy would be placed before the Cabinet soon. In the meantime, due to increasing power needs, state government plans to obtain 400 MW of power from Damodar Valley Corporation

 

He has also directed all electricity companies to ensure rural areas and homes get three-phase supply at least seven hours a day, particularly farmers should not suffer.

 

The question of obtaining permanent power supply through the natural solar source needs to be made mandatory all over the country. What we truly need is the setting up of small and medium size solar panel manufacturers who can offer turn-key jobs to individual houses. Such a move will reduce the heavy burden on the power generators who have to import fuel at great cost.

 

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

Read more here – www.moneylife.in/article/solar-power-that-can-substitute-thermal-nuke-energy/36661.html

 

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“If They Arrest me,they make me a martyr and a winner’- S P Udayakumar

March 11, 2014

S P Udaykumar‘The Congress will be gone from the political scene. The BJP and Congress are the two sides of the same evil coin,’ anti-Koodankulam nuclear plant activist and new AAP member S P Udaykumar tells Rediff.com‘s A Ganesh Nadar.

P Udaykumar has been spearheading the anti-nuclear protests for the past three years against India’s latest nuclear power plant in Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.

Udaykumar has been doing this from Idinthakarai village adjoining Koodankulam and has over 350 cases filed against him. He has been protected from arrest by the villagers who have declared that he can be arrested only over their dead bodies.

Udaykumar, who has now joined the Aam Aadmi Party, tells Rediff.com‘s A Ganesh Nadar why he plunged into politics.

All your life you have been an activist. How come you suddenly became a politician? Activists hate politicians.

I agree we don’t get along with politicians. There are two reasons for joining the AAP.

One is that fellow members of The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy think it will help our cause if I join this party.

Secondly, it will be a good vehicle to travel with other activists like Medha Patkar and Arvind Kejriwal.

What difference can you can make as a politician that an activist cannot?

I will continue to push the people’s agenda. I will try to be honest and transparent.

Try?

(laughing) I said try because I am honest, you know that.

But there are so many people I will be working with. I cannot vouch for all of them.

Is it true that you are contesting the elections? You cannot leave Idinthakarai to file your nomination or canvas, the police will arrest you. How will you deal with that?

The party will decide whether I contest or not. I will have to leave the village to file my nomination.

Let us wait and see what happens. Let them arrest me.

George Fernandes was in prison during the Emergency. He won with a handsome margin. I don’t have to travel in the hot summer and canvas.

I can sit happily in prison while they make me a martyr and a winner (laughs).

Are you contesting from Tirunelveli or Kanyakumari?

That the party will decide.

Tirunelveli votes on caste lines and Kanyakumari is a district divided on communal lines, how will you overcome that?

The whole state is casteist.

Our slogan will be look for the candidate’s qualities and commitment and not his caste or religion.

I am a secular person. Most people are secular. There are a few communal elements that stir up trouble. We will fight that.

Who are the AAP leaders in Tamil Nadu?

Christina Swamy from Karur is a woman activist. She is the state coordinator. David Barun Kumar is the head of the state campaign committee.

What did you think when Kejriwal quit as Delhi chief minister?

I thought it was a good decision. It frees him for the parliamentary elections. Otherwise he would have been stuck in Delhi mired in the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)’s and Congress’s dirty politics.

Now he can go back with an absolute majority.

In Delhi they got volunteers easily thanks to Anna Hazare’s agitation and the Delhi gang-rape that brought the youth onto the streets, how will you get volunteers? The going rate is Rs 2,000 per head per day.

(laughs again) That doesn’t apply to us. I have been leading an agitation for three years now.

We have thousands of volunteers who have never been paid in cash or kind.

After winning the Delhi election against the Congress the AAP took its support, will this happen again at the national level?

I don’t think so. The Congress will be gone from the political scene.

I hope there is no such political exigency.

Between the Congress and the BJP, which is the lesser evil?

No lesser evil. Both are two sides of the same evil coin.

The Church supported your agitation, will it support your politics?

The Church did not support our agitation. This parish priest supported us. It is the people who supported us.

Will AAP join the Third Front post the election?

No idea! I am not in the decision making committee.

You have over 350 cases against you, what are you doing about that?

I am not thinking about that now. If I am asked by my party to contest, I will go to file my nomination. The Tamil Nadu government has to worry about my cases.

DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) leader M K Stalin made an appeal that cases against us should be withdrawn.

As the elections get closer, many more politicians will make this demand. I am not worried either way.

Image: S P Udaykumar. Photograph: A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com

 

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Press Release – No More Fukushima in Gujarat

Mithi Virdi image 9-3-2014 small

Yesterday on 9 March 2014, Sunday at 5.00 pm. the Sarpanchs (Village Panchayat Head) Mr. Shaktisinh Gohil – Jasapara, Ms. Samuben Dabhi – Mithivirdi, Ms. Vilasba Gohil  Mandva, Mr. Pruthvirajsinh Gohil – Khadarpar, Mr. Dayalbhai  Jambucha – Paniyali and the members of these Gram Panchayats passed an unanimous resolution announcing Mithivirdi – Jasapara area as ‘Nuclear Free Zone’.

This is the area where the Manmohan – Modi governments have planned in tandem, to set up 6000 mw nuclear power plant spread over 777 hectares of prime agricultural land, against which the local villagers have led a consistent, vocal protest.

The copy of the resolution will be sent to President, Prime Minister, Gujarat Chief Minister and Secretary General, United Nations.

Orchards of mangoes, chikoos, coconut trees, lush greenery, sea and ships passing by, describe aptly the Mithivirdi – Jasapara area in the Talaja block of Bhavnagar district. This lush green area is the irrigated region of Shetrunji dam. In the times when `Special Investment Region’ has become the most lobbied term in the state of Gujarat, then this region too should be announced as SAR (Special Agriculture Region) for agricultural purpose. Situated on the Saurashtra sea coast, one would assum that the land is barren and un-inhabited, but a visit here belies all these assumptions. It is perhaps from this mistaken presumption that the proposal for a 6000 MW nuclear power plant spread over 777 hectares on this green lush land must have taken place.

Presently on this 777 hectare of land spread in Jasapara, Mithivirdi, Khadarpar, Mandva stand 50,000 fruit trees. Also, bajra, cotton, groundnut, onions and other crops are sown year round due to irrigation facilities. This area is therefore aptly called Bhavnagar‘s vegetable basket.

A reason, why local villagers who stand to loose not only their land and livelihood but also a potential environmental risk if the nuclear power plant were to come up as the government proposes, are protesting and are resolute in their desire to keep the neighbourhood nuclear power free.

Salient points

  1. The production of nuclear weapons or of nuclear power shall not be allowed in the City/Village/Municipality. No facility, equipment, components, supplies or substance used for the production of nuclear weapons or nuclear power shall be allowed in the City/Village/Municipality.
  2. No person, corporation, university, laboratory, institution or other entity in the City/Village/Municipality knowingly and intentionally engaged in the production of nuclear weapons or with respect to nuclear electricity generation shall commence any such work within the City/Village/Municipality after adoption of this chapter.
  3. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or regulate the research and application of nuclear medicine or the use of fissionable materials for smoke detectors, light-emitting watches and clocks and other applications where the purpose is unrelated to the production of nuclear weapons or nuclear power. Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to infringe upon the rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
  4. We are opposed to all aspects and parts of the so-called “nuclear fuel cycle” and expressly forbids the production of nuclear energy, the presence of any equipment and materials related to the carrying out of any part of the fuel cycle and opposes any storage of nuclear waste.

ગઇ કાલે જસપરા, મીઠી વિરડી, માંડવા, ખદરપરના સરપંચો તથા  ગ્રામજનો માઠી વિરડી ખાતે ભેગા થયા અને પોતાના વિસ્તારને ‘ન્યૂક્લિયર મુક્ત વિસ્તાર જાહેર કરતો ઠરાવ કર્યો.

મીઠી વિરડી – જશપરા વિસ્તાર – જ્યાં મનમોહન – મોદીની સરકારોએ ૬૦૦૦ મેગાવોટનું અણુ વિજમથક વૃક્ષો અને વાડીઓથી શુસોભિત ૭૭૭ હેક્ટર જમીનમાં સ્થાપવાનું આયોજન કર્યું છે અને આ વિસ્તારના લોકો તેની સામે સતત સંઘર્ષ કરી રહ્યા છે તે વિસ્તારમાં આજ રોજ તા. ૯-૩-૨૦૧૪, રવિવારના રોજ સાંજે ૫.૦૦ વાગે સરપંચ શ્રી શક્તિસિંહ ગોહિલ – જસપરા, સરપંચ સુશ્રી સમુબેન ડાભી – મીઠી વિરડી, સરપંચ સુશ્રી વિલાસબા ગોહિલ – માંડવા,સરપંચ શ્રી પૃથ્વીરાજસિંહ ગોહિલ – ખદરપરસરપંચ શ્રી દયાળભાઈ જાંબુચા  પાણીયાળી તથા ગ્રામ પંચાયતના સભ્યો તથા ગ્રામજનો મીઠી વિરડી ખાતે ભેગા થયા હતા અને પોતાના વિસ્તારને ‘ન્યૂક્લિયર મુક્ત વિસ્તાર જાહેર કરતો ઠરાવ કર્યો. આ ઠરાવની નકલ ભારતના રાષ્ટ્રપતિ,વડાપ્રધાન, ગુજરાતના મુખ્યમંત્રી અને  યુનાઇટેડ નેશન – સંયુક્ત રાષ્ટ્ર સંઘના (UNO) મહામંત્રીશ્રીને મોકલવામાં આવશે.

જો વિસ્તારમાં આપ પ્રવેશો અને તમને વિસ્તારમાં આંબા, ચીકુ, નાળીયેરીની વાડીઓ દેખાય, આસપાસ હરીયાળી દેખાય, દરિયો દેખાય અને સ્ટીમરો પણ દેખાય તો માનવુ કે આ ભાવનગર જીલ્લાના તળાજા તાલુકાના મીઠી વીરડી- જસપરાના વિસ્તારમાં આપ પ્રવેશ્યા છો. આ લીલોછમ વિસ્તાર શેત્રુંજી ડેમના પિયતવાળો છે. ગુજરાત રાજયમાં કહેવાતા  Special Investment Region’નું વાવાઝોડું આવ્યું છે ત્યારે આ વિસ્તારને ખેતી માટેનો ‘Special Agriculture Region’ તરીકે વિકસિત કરવાનું મન થાય તેવો વિસ્તાર છે. આ વિસ્તાર સૌરાષ્ટ્રનો તેમજ દરીયા કાંઠાનો વિસ્તાર હોવાથી સામાન્ય સમજ મુજબ એવો ભાસ થાય કે આ જમીન બંજર અને માનવવિહોણી હશે તેથી જ આ વિસ્તારની મુલાકાત લેવી અત્યંત જરૂરી છે. કદાચ આવા ભાસથી જ આ વિસ્તારમાં ૬૦૦૦ મેગાવોટનું અણુ વિજમથક ૭૭૭ હેક્ટર જમીનમાં સ્થાપવાનું વિચારાધીન છે.

આજે જસપરા, મીઠી વીરડી, ખદરપર, માંડવા, ગામની ૭૭૭ હેક્ટર જમીન ઉપર આશરે ૫૦,૦૦૦ ફળ ઝાડ ઊભા છે. સાથેજ બાજરો, કપાસ, મગફળી, ડુંગળી અને વિવિધ પ્રકારના અનાજ-શાકનું વાવેતર પિયતની સુવિધાને કારણે બારેમાસ થાય છે. આ વિસ્તાર ભાવનગર શહેરનો શાકનો ટોપલો (Vegetable Basket) છે.

આવા વિસ્તારમાં વિચારાધીન અણુ મથકનો વિરોધ અને કૃષિ સંસ્કૃતિને જીવંત રાખવા સાથે જ વિશ્વમાં અણુ શસ્ત્રો અને અણુ વીજળીના દુષ્પરિણામો વિષે જાગૃતિ વધે તે હેતુથી તા. ૧૧-૩-૨૦૧૪ના રોજ જાપાનના ફૂકુશીમાં અણુવીજ મથકોના અકસ્માતને જ્યારે 3 વર્ષ થવા આવ્યા છે ત્યારે જસપરા, મીઠી વિરડી, માંડવા, ખદરપર, પાણીયાળીના સરપંચો, પંચાયતના સભ્યો અને ગ્રામજનોએ પોતાના ગામ અને વિસ્તારને અણુશસ્ત્રો અને અણુવીજળી મુક્ત વિસ્તાર જાહેર કરવામાં આવ્યું.

આ માટે આંતરરાષ્ટ્રીય સ્તરે અણુઊર્જા સામે જુંબેશ ચલાવતા જૂથો દ્વારા માન્ય એવા અણુ ઊર્જા (અણુશસ્ત્રો અને અણુવીજળી) મુક્ત વિસ્તાર માટેનો મુસદ્દાને ગ્રામજનો અને ગ્રામસભા દ્વારા પસાર કરી માન્યતા આપવામાં આવશે.

પ્રસ્તાવના મુખ્ય મુદ્દાઓ

  1. અમારા વિસ્તારને અમે અણુશસ્ત્રો અથવા અણુવીજળીના ઉત્પાદન તથા અણુ ઉધોગ માટે ઉપયોગમાં આવનાર સાધન સરંજામ ઉધોગ માટે ઉપયોગ નહીં થવા દઈએ.
  2. અણુઊર્જા ઉધોગ માટે તેના જીવન ચક્ર  યુરેનીયમનું ખનન, પ્રોસેસિંગ, અણુ ઈંધણનું ઉત્પાદન, વીજ ઉત્પાદન અને તેના દ્વારા ઉત્પન્ન થતાં કચરા આમ આખી પ્રક્રિયાના કોઈ પણ ઉપયોગ હેતુ ઉધોગ અમારા વિસ્તારમાં આવવા નહીં દઈએ.
  3. અણુશસ્ત્રો અને અણુવીજળી એક બીજાના પૂરક છે અને અંતે તે માનવજાતિ માટે કાયમી જોખમ ઊભું કરે છે. તેથી તેનો અમારે વિરોધ છે.
  4. અણુશસ્ત્રો હોવાથી વધારે સુરક્ષીત થવાય છે તે માન્યતા ભ્રમ માત્ર છે. અને તેથી ઊલટ અણુશસ્ત્રો / અણુવીજળી નો કોઈ પણ ગંભીર અકસ્માત પૃથ્વીનો વિનાશ કરી શકે છે.
  5. આજે પૃથ્વી ઉપર અનેક દેશો પાસે જે અણુશસ્ત્રો છે તે પૃથ્વીને અનેક વખત ખલાસ કરી શકે તેમ છે.
  6. ફૂકુશીમાં અણુ દુર્ઘટનાને તા: 11 માર્ચ ના રોજ ત્રણ વર્ષ પૂરા થવા  છતાં તેના પર સંપૂર્ણ કાબૂ મેળવી શકાયો નથી.
  7. અમે અણુ ટેક્નોલોજીનો દવાઓ, સ્મોક ડિટેક્ટર વગેરે જે અણુશસ્ત્રો અને અણુવીજળી સાથે સંલગ્ન નથી તેવા ઉપયોગનો વિરોધ કરતા નથી.
  8. અમે અમારા ગામને અણુમુક્ત વિસ્તાર રાખવા માટે એક સમિતિની રચના કરીશું. આ સમિતિ અન્ય નિષ્ણાંતોની મદદ લઈને આ વિષયે જાગૃતિનું કામ કરશે. અને સ્થાનિક પ્રશાસનને તે બાબતે સલાહ આપશે.

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