Fight for Our Nature and Future
National Campaign for ‘Nuclear-Free India’
Train Yatra from Kanyakumari to Dibrugarh, Assam, February 2015
Let us make it very clear at the outset that we are for the development of the country and all our peoples including the poor and oppressed. So we do support energy generating plans and projects.
We only say that let us generate required energy from renewable sources such as the Sun, wind, waves, wastes and so forth without spoiling our land, water, air, sea and sea food, cattle and crops etc. After all, food security, nutrition security, water security and air security are far more important than energy security.
But the Indian government wants to set up nuclear power parks (with six to ten plants) at so many locations all over India (Koodankulam and Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu; Kovvada, Andhra Pradesh; Pati Sonapur, Odisha; Haripur, West Bengal; Kaiga, Karnataka; Jaitapur and Tarapur, Maharashtra; Mithi Virdi, Gujarat; Banswada, Rajasthan; Gorakhpur, Haryana; Chutka, Madhya Pradesh etc.) with the help of the United States, Russia, France, Japan, South Korea etc. The United States has not built a new nuclear plant in recent years. Japan has shut down all its 52 nuclear power plants after the Fukushima accident in March 2011. Germany has decided to phase out its nuclear power plants. Should India be the dumpsite of this discredited and discarded nuclear technology?
Indian government wants to import Uranium from Australia, Kazakhstan, Namibia and so on. But none of these countries has even one nuclear power plant there.
Nuclear energy is not cheap. Consider the land acquisition cost, long construction period and cost escalation, bribery and corruption, security costs, decommissioning, waste disposal and management etc. Every step in nuclear power generation is very expensive and the government subsidizes all of them.
Nuclear energy is not clean. Consider the enormous amount of steel, cement, oil and electricity used in nuclear power plant construction and operation. All these come from polluting sources. Nuclear plants leave huge amounts of dangerous wastes that threaten us with radiation for 48,000 years. What will the government do with all this waste? Where will they store them in a crowded country?
Nuclear energy is not safe. India being a highly and densely populated country, even a small incident in a nuclear plant may have disastrous consequences for millions of our people. See the people of Bhopal who suffered an industrial disaster. Even after 30 long years of several governments, chief ministers and prime ministers, the people there are still left helpless without compensation, medical assistance or waste removal.
Nuclear energy is not healthy. Nuclear power plants dump enormous amounts of hot and mildly radioactive coolant water into the sea or river 24×7. That affects the seafood and groundwater. The nuclear plants emit radioactive iodine, cesium, strontium, tellurium etc into the air. All this may cause pregnancy-related problems, birth defects in children, radiation illnesses, cancers and so on.
Nuclear energy is not moral. What moral legitimacy do we have to spoil the Nature and the futures of our children and grandchildren just because we get electricity for 40 years and our political parties and leaders get huge amounts of commission from foreign countries and their nuclear corporations?
Nuclear energy is not the answer. Nuclear energy is not the answer for global warming as it uses so much carbon-producing energy. Nuclear energy poisons our Earth with deadly wastes. Nuclear power makes up only 2% of our electricity generation now and may never be significant even in the future.
Should we lose our socioeconomic and political independence in the name of energy independence? Should we bend our own liability law in order to enhance the profits of foreign countries? Should we behave like slaves and recolonize our country all over again? Or should we think like leaders and solve our problems with originality and creativity?
As Mahatma Gandhi said: “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our fore fathers but on loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us.”
Come, let us strive for a ‘Nuclear-Free India’ that has No Deals, No Mines, No Reactors, No Dumps, and No Bombs.
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai 627 104
Email: [email protected]