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'Relevant for India': 5 ex-Japan PMs' shock over EU considering N-power as green

By Shankar Sharma* 

Soon after the European Union said that it would consider including nuclear power in its “green” Taxonomy, five former prime ministers of Japan have expressed shock at such a statement from the EU.
It seems such an unfortunate coincidence that just a few weeks after recent media reports on this, the global communities are experiencing an unprecedented concern over the possible nuclear fallout due to the military operations by Russia in Ukraine.
News items appeared stating that French nuclear watchdog expressed high alert after nuclear plant fire during the Russian attack, wondering how close was nuclear plant attack to catastrophe.
Even Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was reported as saying: "Ukraine conflict could jeopardize safety of nuclear facilities", and “the best action to ensure the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities and its people would be for this armed conflict to end now.”
These developments should indicate the enormity of risks to the global communities associated with continuing with the obsession on nuclear power, and to have many more nuclear power reactors.
These issues are far more relevant to India, whose govt. seems to be hell bent on building scores of more nuclear power reactors while ignoring the warnings and recommendations of many credible reports from around the world, and from its own community leaders.
It would be a great disservice to our country if our leaders refuse to diligently consider what the five former prime ministers of Japan have stated in this context:
"As former Prime Ministers of Japan, we were shocked to learn that the European Commission is planning to include nuclear power in the EU Taxonomy, which is designed to facilitate investments in projects that tackle climate change and other projects related to sustainability.
“Following what had happened at Three Mile Island in the United States and Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, the disaster at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant proved at great cost that nuclear power cannot be ‘safe’.
“Moreover, what we have witnessed in Fukushima over the last decade is an indescribable tragedy and contamination on an unprecedented scale. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and vast areas of agricultural land have been contaminated.
“Radioactive water well beyond storage capacity continues to be generated, many children are suffering from thyroid cancer, and massive amounts of the country’s resources and wealth has been lost. We do not wish European countries to make the same mistake.
“Promoting nuclear power can ruin a country. Like policies that turn a blind eye to climate change, policies promoting nuclear energy threaten the survival and existence of future generations."

Can we hope that these recent developments will persuade our bureaucrats and political leaders to take a rational and people's welfare oriented view of nuclear power?
*Power and climate policy analyst, Sagara, Karnataka



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