Skip to main content

Andhra N-plant will "destroy" agriculture, livelihood of locals: Ex-bureaucrat writes to Indian, Japanese PM

By Our Representative
Former energy secretary, Government of India, EAS Sarma has strongly opposed the setting up of 6,000 MWe nuclear plant near the village where he currently lives, Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh, saying he is “intensely concerned” about the safety of the people there in the event of an “unfortunate accident” taking place, similar to the one that struck the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear complex in March 2011.
Pointing out that he was sure “those residing in Gujarat and in the other states in India, where Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) proposes to set up new nuclear power plants, feel the same way”, Sarma has opposed, through a letter he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the setting up a nuclear power plant comprising of reactors and components supplied by the US and Japanese companies.
“The proposed nuclear plant will displace thousands of farmers and fisherfolk, destroy precious agriculture, deprive the local communities of their livelihoods and, in short, disrupt their lives in multifarious ways. The only agencies that benefit from such a project are the manufacturers of nuclear reactors and their components in the US and in Japan and the nuclear establishment whose survival depends on the survival of nuclear power”, the ex-bureaucrat underlines.
Sarma alleges, the decision to go ahead with the nuclear plants has been taken “after protracted negotiations, involving several contentious issues, often pressured by the western nuclear manufacturing lobbies and the nuclear establishment within Japan.” India and Japan are likely to clinch a nuclear supply agreement during Abe’s visit to India about a week’s time.
“While the protagonists of nuclear technology persistently try to justify proliferation of nuclear power on the ground that the probability of occurrence of a Fukushima-like accident in a nuclear power plant is low, none of them can ever deny that such accidents can take place one time or the other, either as a result of a natural disaster on which we have no control or as a result of a human failure that we cannot wish away”, Sarma says.
Giving the examples of Three Mile Island accident (1979), the Chernobyl accident (1986) and the more recent Fukushima accident (2011) as grim reminders of this, Sarma says, there have so far been “99 potential, well-documented disasters that took place in the five decades that preceded Fukushima.”
He adds, “Japan is still struggling to clean up Fukushima even four years after the accident. I wonder whether it will ever be able to decommission it fully and declare the area to be 100 per cent safe!”
“In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension. It is ironic that Japan should become a major actor in pushing nuclear power like never before, especially at a time when the people of Japan are yet to come to grips fully with the aftermath of Fukushima”, Sarma says.
He adds, “Apart from the safety concerns, the global experience during the last decade has shown that nuclear power is highly expensive and unaffordable in a country like India.”

Comments

TRENDING

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Evolution of Sardar Patel's understanding of those 'involved' in Gandhi's assassination

By Shamsul Islam*  As the world mourns the 73rd anniversary of MK Gandhi's assassination by Hindutva terrorists on January 30, 1948, RSS, the most prominent flag-bearer of Hindutva politics, whose cadres rule India today, is found reacting angrily to the reality – that the criminals who assassinated Gandhiji were not only part of the ideological world-view of Hindu Mahasabha (led by VD Savarkar) and RSS brand of Hindu nationalism but were also connected with these. 

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

A World Economic Forum 'reset' agenda: Profit at the cost of human lives, health?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  As the mutilating power of Coronavirus strikes on lives and livelihoods and create havocs across the globe, the Davos priests of the World Economic Forum have started the Great Reset Initiative  to manage the consequences of the pandemic. It rightly recognises the urgent need for global cooperation to end the uncertainties and disruptions caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.