India: Nuclear energy projects are high ways to death and disaster

Oppose nuclear power plants

A war like hysteria has gripped the Indian ruling class, which was initiated by Manmohan Singh and his sycophants especially in the 2nd term of the Congress led UPA, that India must become a superpower at any cost. In their mad pursuit of 8-9% growth rate, this government run by the scoundrels that include Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, P Chidambaram and Pranab Mukerhjee are running a circus show by putting the lives of ordinary people in great danger.

In their plea bargain to take India to the top slot of nations by 2020, these so called experts have become the henchmen of the multinational corporations and Indian Capitalist class. They believe, they have given a go by to the environment and social security of the people by stating that nuclear energy is inevitable. In this great cacophony they are using all the nuclear energy sycophants – political, scientific, so called intellectuals who have been hired to start a pro nuclear campaign for the nuclear energy industry.

In the recent times, the world’s attention has been drawn by the anti-nuclear Koodankulam struggle and the determined fight of the people there to shut down the plant. This is something that the Indian ruling class is unable to digest.

It is the controversial 123 agreement that was signed between India and the US during the 1st version of the Congress led UPA, it is this cobra today that is beginning to open its hood and started its nasty dance.

It was the nuclear technology that was developed during the cold war era between the former Soviet Union and US that was used to build the reactors at Narora, Rawatbhata, Kakrapar, Tarapur, Kaiga and Kalpakam which generated 8080 Mega Watts of electricity. After the 123 agreement with the US, six more yet to be commissioned or proposed nuclear reactors include Haryana’s KamhariyaWest Bengal’s Haripur, Madhya Pradesh’s Bargi, Gujarat’s Mithi Virdhi, Maharasthra’s Jaitapur and Tamil Nadu’s Koodankulam.

All this is supposed to give employment to the youth, light as against darkness, livelihood for the poor and so on is only a part of their propaganda. But everyone knows that behind all these lies and false propaganda is the profit motive of this dirty rotten system.

Not taken in by any any their false promises, the working people, fisher-folk and youth of the 20 villages surrounding Koodankulam in Tirunelveli district in Southern Tamil Nadu have taken a stand that they will not accept the commissioning of the Koodankulam nuclear plant.

Already more than 100 days (while this article was written) into this recent upsurge and already they have gained the support of the majority of people of the state. Daily 25 to 30,000 people are on relay fast that has set a new chapter in the history of struggles in India. Unusually, even the Jayalalitha led AIADMK government (better known for its anti-people policies) passed a resolution in the state assembly against the nuclear power plant.

The ruling class are never shy of repeating the words of democracy. But they have left lot to be desired as far as implementing it. They are using the difference of caste–class-religion to break the unity of the struggle against the Koodankulam power plant.

It is also not an accident that they have brought in the buffoon scientist and the former President of India – Abdul Kalam into the scene, who also incidentally hails from the same district and are using him to the hilt to take the people in another direction.

But the recent Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan have only increased the fears among the general public and also raised their level of consciousness on the inherent dangers of nuclear energy. This led to a fierce debate between the pro and the anti-nuclear forces.

The struggle against the nuclear power plant in Koodankulam has had a domino effect with struggles starting to pick up in other proposed sites for nuclear power plants. The fierce debate between pro and anti-nuclear forces that took place recently at “People’s SAARC” held at Thiruvananthapuram has only added more edge to the anti nuclear campaign.

In the past century, the dropping of the Atomic Bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Three Mile Island accident, the unforgettable tragedy at Chernobyl and the recent nuclear disaster at Fukushima are warning signs on the imminent dangers of nuclear energy.

Whatever may be the arguments and parading of lies by the pro nuclear scientist and the politicians, they are still unable to answer the questions with regard to nuclear radiation and the safe disposal of nuclear waste. The reports of cancer and other radiation related hazards at existing nuclear power plants such as Kalpakam, Narora, Kaiga and others has somewhat muted the arguments of the pro nuclear lobby.

Oppose nuclear power

Despite nuclear bombs have not been used after the second world war, nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is a blatant conspiracy of the ruling classes that is cleverly trying to hide the profit motive of the big corporations.

For the maintaining their wasteful, extravagant and consumerist lifestyle that capitalism promotes, the need for unbridled electricity is always there. This model of “development” is having a disastrous effect on the environment. The working people have no choice but to reject this model that is being promoted by capitalism but this does not mean that we want the clock to be turned back. To live in harmony with nature and the other species of the planet, we need to seriously look into renewable sources of energy such as solar, tidal, wind and other sources that do not endanger the environment in the long run.

The profit driven system of capitalism has no interest in promoting environmentally friendly technologies as this does not bring back the huge windfall profits that they desire. This is the reason behind the conspiracy to promote dangerous technology such as nuclear energy as if there is no other alternative.

This article is the translated version from Kannada article that appeared in Nov-Dec 2011 of Dudiyora Horaata, translation by Anand Kumar

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January 2012