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Updated: February 20, 2012 09:38 IST

Call for re-think on nuclear plants

Staff Reporter
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John Clammer, Professor of Sociology and Asian Studies at Sophia University, Tokyo, during the lecture
The Hindu John Clammer, Professor of Sociology and Asian Studies at Sophia University, Tokyo, during the lecture "Lives in the shadow of Fukushima", at National Gallery of Modern Art on Palace road, in Bangalore on February 19, 2012. Photo: K. Murali Kumar.

In the wake of the nuclear meltdown, and subsequent radiation leak at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the debate on nuclear power, its safety and feasibility, has been rekindled.

On Sunday, at a discussion held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, John Clammer, professor of sociology at the UN University, Tokyo, shared his experiences during and after the earthquake and tsunami that claimed around 15,000 lives and exposed many more living around the Fukushima prefecture to radiation. The lecture, titled ‘Lives in the shadow of Fukushima', painted a vivid picture of how people in the areas surrounding the plant, and Tokyo, coped with the natural disaster.

Prof. Clammer spoke about how there was little information being given out by the Government, and even the official figures released were often not supported by adequate data or attempts to create awareness, or properly inform people about the risks. “At one point, the Government claimed a certain amount of radiation was safe. But this was at least 20 times more than the radiation that was declared as safe or acceptable by the World Health Organisation,” he said.

The Government was suppressing information, in fact, lying to us constantly, he said.

“Being in Tokyo was like being in a science fiction movie,” he said. While he spoke about how for weeks Tokyo remained “deserted, empty and dark”, and continues to have around 20 per cent power shortage, he also said that there have been reports about traces of increased levels of radioactive content in mothers' milk. The events at the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant have proved that nuclear power is not safe, particularly in the face of natural disasters. Even in India, Tamil Nadu is along the coast, and there is not enough discourse on the risks associated, he said, adding that there needs to be a serious re-think on nuclear plants. He also quoted newspaper reports from the ‘Japan Times' that reported that Japan had not disclosed information on the unaccounted plutonium or uranium stored in its nuclear waste dump.

Corinne Kumar, founder director, CIEDS Collective, said that the issue of nuclear waste was a serious one.

Ms. Kumar said that there was a need for more discourse on nuclear energy, and that debate on this subject was often limited to nuclear weapons and disarmament. “Atoms for war, and atoms for peace are two sides of the same coin. We must recognise this,” she said.

Speaking at the event, Atul Choksi, professor from the Indian Institute of Science, said the disaster at Fukushima made many like him understand that there was an urgent need for a re-look at nuclear energy and plants.

@Gregory Cragg, The Nuclear Industry is old. It is 1940s technology.
Second there is really no more uranium to even fuel the existing
reactors and that's why MOX (plutonium contaminated/mixed uranium was
used for the three reactors in Fukushima which consequently exploded
during the tsunami emergency. Nuclear reactors eat up a lot of sand as
they are concrete based. The sand depleted shores automatically turn
tidal waves into Tsunamis as there is no shoreline for tidal waves to
break down into hence the waves invade the land. Young people are
opting for IT technologies with little interest in nuclear physics so
the future holds a shortage of nuclear scientists and workers.
Decommissioning, expensive now will cost a fortune in the future and
Fukushima has driven local populations to hysterical fears over
radiation and possible explosion and evacuation. Solar which was $30
per watt has now dropped to $3 per watt. Why choose deadly nuclear
power when our Solar capacity is infinite?

from:  angela alvares
Posted on: Feb 28, 2012 at 16:51 IST

4 years ago, I invented the safest way to store all types of nuclear wastes, I thought I hit the big one, yet after 4 years not one reponse, I see now that Nuclear waste is just a political problem, take Japan for expample, Japan was offered my Idea for free, they still have not replied!

from:  Gregory Cragg
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 03:13 IST

I saw a rare truthful one and a half hour film on how nuclear wastes are being handled in the West(and India by induction). See it by googling on Ramaswami Ashok Kumar and clicking on My Complete profile at The Unacceptable Dangers of Nuclear Energy in the article on Fish Catch and Radioactivity. You will realise why the fish catch worldwide is going down in concert with the strength of radioactivity released into the oceans and the seas. It can also be viewed at the enenews site in the section on Canada denies refugee status to Japanese trying to escape Fukushima radiation. In the course of discussions on this topic the waste problem was also discussed. You can also click on energy audit of the indian nuclear programme and see how from year to year all the nuclear electricity produced is consumed by the nuclear industry itself, leaving none for the people outside the nuke industry. The cost of nuclear power is thus infinity both debtwise and healthwise.Stop nukes now,insulate wastes.

from:  Ramaswami Kumar
Posted on: Feb 21, 2012 at 13:25 IST
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