NAPM Statement – Nukes, Wikileaks and Corruption : PM Must Reveal Truth to Nation

March 21, 2011


* Nukes, Wikileaks and Corruption : PM Must Reveal Truth to Nation
* Cancel all the Proposed Nuclear Power Plants and Related Facilities
* Moratorium on Dams in High Seismic Zones

New Delhi Delhi, March 18 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement after the nuclear disaster in Japan that there is no need to be panicky as India will take all safety measures is not only amateurish but also lacks wisdom.

His statement gives the impression that the Japanese have not taken adequate safety measures. What type of natural calamities or man made lapses are in store for us, no one can visualise or predict leave alone taking safety measures against them.

The Prime Minister who has no control over his own cabinet ministers and has unashamedly wailed in public that he was ineffective due to coalition government, and caused the nation unimaginable and unprecedented loss by allowing mind blowing scams, issuing such absurd statements like taking all safety measures- lacks any tangible weight.

The urgency with which the US authorities issued statement in the immediate aftermath of the Japanese Nuclear power plants disaster urging India not to abandon Indo-US nuclear deal as India is in dire need of power and only nuclear power can fulfill it clearly shows the ugly face of US business interest over and above the safety of Indian lives. This has been further confirmed by the documents published via Wikileaks in the Hindu and the influence which US government has exerted on the foreign policy matters and sensitive nuclear issues.

As a Nation we all wish that good sense should prevail on all those who are at the helm of affairs in taking stock of the nuclear reactor accidents at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima and our own Bhopal gas tragedy experience to learn appropriate lessons and put full stop to all such death dangling projects. With our corrupt and poor quality practices inherent in the system, it is very dangerous to meddle with such high risk projects. The statements emanating from authorities of the Indian nuclear establishment that we have already handled earthquake and tsunami situations is highly misleading and shallow justification that qualifies as institutional malfeasance. And we are in no way more capable of dealing with nuclear catastrophe, than the Japanese.

India’s Policy on Nuclear Energy and push for setting up nuclear power plants in various places across the country is not only a threat to communities that are likely to lose their lands and others living in the power plants’ vicinity but also seriously compromises her energy security, sovereignty and independence, and sparks off a race in the region. The Government has abandoned the country’s time-tested refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by signing the 123 agreement with the US and has had to follow its dictates by dropping the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline deal.

Nuclear energy is not cheap, neither it is clean nor safe. Every step in its whole cycle from mining to enrichment to power generation to waste disposal is fraught with inevitable environmental and health hazards, and permanent damage across generations.

NAPM extends its full support to people in various parts of the country such as Jadugoda in Jharkhand; Nalgonda, Kovvada, and Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh; Haripur in West Bengal; Chutkha in Madhya Pradesh; Jaitapur in Maharashtra and Meghalaya who are struggling against uranium mining and nuclear power plants. We further demand that:

* the proposed nuclear power plants at Haripur (West Bengal), Mithi Virdi (Gujarat), Madban (Maharashtra), Pitti Sonapur (Orissa), Chutkha (Madhya Pradesh) and Kovada (Andhra Pradesh) be immediately scrapped.

* the planned construction of large number of dams and thermal power plants in high seismic zones including those already built like Sardar Sarovar, Indira Sagar, Tehri and those planned in NE, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, etc must be reviewed and a moratorium announced.

* the draconian Indian Atomic Energy Act, 1962 be revoked forthwith and the Right to Information (RTI) Act be amended to apply to all aspects of the nuclear establishment.

Medha Patkar, Sandeep Pandey, Maj Gen S.G.Vombatkere (Retd), Prafulla Samantara, Roma, Gabriele Dietrich, Sister Celia, Suniti S R, Rajendra Ravi, Bhupendera Singh Rawat, P Chennaiah, Geo Josh, Hussain Master, Ramakrishna Raju, Ajay Kumar, Saraswati Kavula, K Babu Rao, Anand mazgaonkar, Mukta Srivastava, Madhuresh Kumar