Activists call for debate on India’s nuclear power programme

Chennai: The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) has called for a national debate on India’s ambitious nuclear power programme and making it an issue in the 2014 parliamentary polls.

In a statement issued Tuesday, PMANE urged the central government to share with it documents like the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and site evaluation report (SER), safety analysis report (SAR), emergency preparedness plan (EPP) and performance report of the country’s existing and upcoming atomic power plants.

“Let the whole country discuss these reports and information and engage in a nation-wide debate about the exorbitant cost of nuclear energy, the hidden costs such as food insecurity and diseases, nuclear safety, nuclear waste management, decommissioning technology and costs, and the whole array of related issues,” PMANE said.

According to PMANE, which is spearheading the opposition to the 2X1,000 MW Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), if a majority of people endorsed the government’s nuclear plan then it would immediately withdraw the struggle against KNPP.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has declined to share a copy of the safety analysis report on KNPP with PMANE despite the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order.

The country’s atomic power plant operator, NPCIL, is setting up the nuclear power project in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district, around 650 km from here, with two Russian-made VVER 1,000-MW each reactors.

The nuclear power project is an outcome of an inter-governmental agreement between India and the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1988. However, the construction began only in 2001.


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