Protesters opposing the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) on Monday demanded that the Union government organise a nationwide debate on the country’s energy policy, particularly on the ongoing as well as proposed nuclear power programmes.
Convener of the Anti-Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project Struggle Committee, S.P. Udayakumar, said the current agitation against the KKNPP would be suspended if voters chose to support the Congress overwhelmingly in the next Lok Sabha polls even after a transparent nationwide debate.
Speaking to reporters during the sea-based agitation organised against the KKNPP, Dr. Udayakumar said the Centre could not unveil its plan on nuclear waste management during a recent hearing in the Supreme Court.
When the court was informed that the nuclear waste to be generated at KKNPP would be dumped at Kolar Gold Fields, the people of Karnataka and its government vehemently opposed it, forcing the Union government to withdraw that “callous statement”.
The People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy had asked for copies of the Safety Analysis Report, Environment Impact Assessment Report, Site Evaluation Report, VVER Reactors Performance Report etc., but they were not furnished even after the Central Information Commissioner directed the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, the proponent of the power project, to do so.
Even as the entire nation was kept in the dark about the nuclear power programmes and the facts pertaining to nuclear energy, the NPCIL was planning to construct more nuclear reactors at new sites in various north Indian States without giving “mandatory basic information” about the nuclear reactors to the local people.
“Hence, we demand a nationwide debate on the energy policy. Information pertaining to nuclear energy should be made available in Hindi, English and all local Indian languages and supplied to every Indian citizen before this proposed debate. If the citizens choose to support the Congress in the next Lok Sabha polls even after this debate, the PMANE, spearheading the anti-KKNPP agitation, will stop the protest immediately and support the Centre,” said Dr. Udayakumar.