Skip to main content

Anti-nuclear protest to greet French president Macron, to visit India on March 11, at Ratnagiri Mahashtra

French president Macron
By Our Representative
French president Emmanuel Macron should not be imposing the "untested, expensive and technically troubled" French EPR reactor on India, say two international groups, India-based DiaNuke and US-based Beyond Nuclear, campaigning against nuclear power in India and across the world. The French-supported Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India has been proposed at Madban village of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra.
The two well-known non-profit organizations' statement comes amidst plans to hold a massive protest, with the participation of 5,000 people of the villages surrounding the Jaitapur site, on the eve of Macron’s visit on March 11. The Jaitapur EPR project would be the biggest nuclear power plant site in the world if built, producing 9,900 MW of electricity.
Macron's visit to India, ironically, coincides with seven years to the day since the start of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan, the second worst nuclear catastrophe after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion in Ukraine. France and India are expected to sign a framework agreement during the visit that would fast track a six-reactor EPR project at Jaitapur on India’s west coast.
Calling for foreign corporations not to proceed with nuclear power projects in India, they said, "In addition to the French Jaitapur site, a subsidiary of the Russian nuclear company, Rosatom, has a six reactor nuclear project in Kudankulam where two of its VVER-1000 reactors are already operational. The bankrupt US company, Westinghouse, hopes to build six AP1000 reactors in the village of Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh."
A Greenpeace protest in Toulouse, France
All these sites have seen massive protests by farmers, fishermen and villagers, whose lives and livelihoods, along with scarce water supplies, are threatened.
“The French have no right to inflict the risks and environmental devastation of nuclear power on unwilling communities in India,” said Kumar Sundaram, director of DiaNuke. “The French nuclear sector is preying upon India’s apparent eagerness to buy nuclear plants in order to restore their global reputation, fatally damaged by the failures of their EPR nuclear projects at home and in Finland.”
“It's ironic that while Macron is selling nuclear power to India where villagers have been shot protesting it, his government is at the same time tear-gasing nuclear opponents at home," said Linda Pentz Gunter, international specialist at Beyond Nuclear. “This shows yet again why nuclear energy and democracy are fundamentally incompatible."
Macron will also visit the New Delhi Solar Summit during his stopover in India. "India is ideally suited to the distributed electricity generation provided by solar and wind energy, given its vast geography and the fact that almost 70% of its population lives in rural areas,” Pentz Gunter said. "But it is clear that nuclear energy is Macron's priority agenda."
"The Areva (now Orana)-designed and EDF-constructed EPR was supposed to become the French nuclear flagship. Instead, the EPR is mired in controversy. The French Flamanville EPR, as well as one in Olkiluoto, Finland, are massively over budget, years behind schedule, and have been plagued by technical mistakes and charges of fraud and cover-ups", then statement alleged.
Orano is a French multinational group specializing in nuclear power and renewable energy headquartered in Paris La Défense, while EDF Energy UK-based producer electricity.
"Only last week, EDF admitted to substandard weldings at the Flamanville plant which also has a controversial and flawed reactor vessel lid manufactured by the Areva-owned French forge at Le Creusot which was found to have supplied defective parts and falsified quality control documents, eroding trust internationally in the EPR", it pointed out.
"Even in China, where safety controls are given less scrutiny than in Europe, further delays were just announced at the Taishan EPR site, due to cracks found in a reactor component. It marked the third delay in two years. These troubles have left Areva and EDF, both state-owned companies, fundamentally bankrupt", the statement added.

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”