''Disregarding calls for caution arising from the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima, the Indian government has announced that it is going ahead with the Jaitapur nuclear project. This will mean imposing reactors of an untested design upon an unwilling people and a uniquely precious ecosystem. There has been no independent and credible review of India's nuclear power policy, nor a proper safety audit of our nuclear installations after Fukushima. Public-spirited citizens are again called upon to urge the government to reconsider its stand, and to demand that the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board be given a truly independent and powerful mandate and that its members be selected with great care and prudence. More than 60 eminent citizens from different walks of life have signed the following statement. The prominent signatories include former Chiefs of Naval Staff Admiral L Ramdas and Vishnu Bhagwat, former Major-General SG Vombatkere, former Planning Commission member SP Shukla, former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board chairman A Gopalakrishnan, former vice-chancellors Deepak Nayyar and Mushirul Hasan, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nirupam Sen, social scientists Romila Thapar, Sumit and Tanika Sarkar, Ramachandra Guha, Rajeev Bhargava, Amit Bhaduri, Achin Vanaik and Zoya Hasan, and scientists PM Bhargava, Satyajit Rath, MV Ramana, Suvrat Raju, writer Arundhati Roy, dancer Leela Samson, artistes Krishen Khanna, Ghulam Shaikh, SG Vasudev, Vivan Sundaram and Bharti Kher, veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, and many others, including scholars, and social and environmental activists such as Vandana Shiva and Aruna Roy.''
Tag - Industralisation
As the global nuclear industry's fate hangs in the balance, India must rethink its nuclear power expansion plans and impose a moratorium on new reactors.
If Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan thought he could convince the people of Jaitapur, in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, of the virtues of the giant nuclear power complex which is being built there, he must have been sorely disappointed by his February 26 visit to the area. He harangued and taunted the 8,000-strong crowd, told people they were being misled by “outsiders” who “don’t want to see India progress”, and unleashed the aggressive, abusive industries minister (and former Chief Minister) Narayan Rane upon them. Rane had earlier declared: “No outsider who comes to Jaitapur to oppose the project will return (alive).”
The first thing that strikes the visitor to Jaitapur-Madban in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, about 400 kilometres from Mumbai, is the sheer beauty of the place. The second thing that strikes you is the profusion of posters, banners and slogans which say “Areva Go Back”, “NO to Nuclear Power” and “Radiation Kills” in Marathi. These are the work of a grassroots movement against a project. This is planned to be the world’s largest nuclear power station.
Jaitapur's French-built nuclear plant is a disaster in waiting, jeopardising biodiversity and local livelihoods
The Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace, of which I am a founding member, recently sent a team to Jaitapur, in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, where the world’s largest nuclear power station is proposed to be built. The people of Jaitapur strongly oppose the project and have sustained a strong and peaceful movement against it for four years.
We went there to assess the strength of the people’s opposition to the project, to inquire into the state’s violations of their civil liberties, and to express solidarity with the people’s movement.
CNDP has produced a booklet on Jaitapur, whose PDF file is linked below. This will be printed with a four-column colour cover this week. If you would like copies, please write to: Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) A-124/6, 1st Floor, Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi-110 016 I Telefax: 011-26968121 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CNDP decided at its Tenth Anniversary Convention in December 2010 to participate in and intensify people’s struggles against nuclear power, which is being forcefully promoted by the Indian government after the completion of the India-US nuclear deal and its endorsement by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group.
Courting Nuclear Disaster in Maharashtra: Why the Jaitapur Project Must Be Scrapped A report published by Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (authors: Praful Bidwai, Bhasha Singh, S P Shukla, Vaishali Patil, Rafeeq Ellias) 42 Pages (PDF) January 2011
India is obsessively pursuing nuclear power generation and imposing it upon an unwilling public, which doesn’t treat nuclear reactors as good neighbours. Inevitably, the government is getting into direct and imperious opposition to the people, with terrible consequences for democracy, which at minimum must respect the right to life with dignity, and the right to reject projects that are destructive of the environment and livelihoods. This is nowhere more evident than in Jaitapur in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, on the Konkan coast, where Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd is erecting six giant (1,650 MW) reactors designed by the French firm Areva. Jaitapur is touted as the world’s largest nuclear station, generating 9,900 MW (India’s present nuclear capacity, 4,780 MW).
The government must stop dilly-dallying over the project and apply the law regardless of the fact that it is India's single largest foreign investment proposal.
It’s no aberration that the first anniversary of the return to power of the United Progressive Alliance should coincide with a tsunami of grassroots protests: from Orissa to Maharashtra, and from Tamil Nadu to Uttarakhand, through tribal Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The protests represent popular resistance to UPA-2’s industrialisation and mining policies and its zealous promotion of gross domestic product (GDP) growth as an end in itself. Central here is the displacement and dispossession of vulnerable people.