The People’s Movement against Nuclear Energysays several districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala are not equipped to handle any accidentat the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.
The People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy alleged here on Wednesday that the district administrations in Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari (in Tamil Nadu) and Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha (in Kerala) were not equipped to cope with any accident at the Koodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu.
Coordinator of the movement S.P. Udayakumar and leaders of various member organisations told reporters that the authorities had failed to conduct safety drills or share evacuation plans with the residents of the seven districts that would be affected in the event of an accident. “They maintain that no accident will happen at the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. Even the Environmental Impact Assessment report, safety analysis report and site evaluation study have not been revealed to the public in the two States.”
Mr. Udayakumar said that a series of mild tremors in the neighbourhood of the nuclear plant and other places in the Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts in the recent past had created panic among the people. “There has been no effort to alleviate their fears.”
He alleged that the authorities of the plant were violating the prescribed safety regulations in transport of radioactive material. “Nuclear fuel rods and uranium are brought to the Thiruvananthapuram airport like ordinary cargo and transported to Koodankulam by road without any warning or advance information to the people on the movement of radioactive material.”
Mr. Udayakumar said India was becoming a dumping ground for obsolete nuclear technology peddled by other nations. “The U.S. has not built a nuclear power plant for the last 30 years while Russia stopped making new nuclear power plants since the Chernobyl accident. They are now trying to dump their technology on developing nations.”
State president of the Kerala Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation (KSMTF) T. Peter said the Koodankulam nuclear power complex would pollute the near-shore waters, leading to the mass migration of fish.
This, he said, would pose a new threat to the traditional fishermen community, already reeling under several crises. Mr. Peter said the coastal communities were living in fear of diseases caused by radioactive contamination.
“The Three Mile Island accident in the U.S. and the Chernobyl accident in the Ukraine are not just a memory but a living reality for people suffering from various health problems and birth disorders,” Mr. Udayakumar said.
The People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy will take out a rally in New Delhi on Gandhi Jayanthi to voice protest against the power plant.