As the anti-nuclear weather is inclement (editorial, “A necessary pause at Kudankulam,” Sept. 22), post-Fukushima and the French nuclear processing plant blasts, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and the Atomic Energy Commission should call for a common meet where civil society representatives and anti-nuclear standholders of all the States coming under the nuclear programme are invited, their genuine fears heeded, their doubts clarified and safety standards projected, all at one go.
Subramanian V., Chidambaram.
The withdrawal of the anti-Kudankulam agitation on the basis of assurances given by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Union Minister of State V. Narayanasamy (Sept. 22) has only given a hiatus and helped all to come out of current cul-de-sac. However, it can't be construed as the be-all and end-all solution. While those living near a nuclear facility have every right to seek foolproof safety mechanisms, it would be retrograde thinking and a primitive idea to call for total closure of Kudankulam, a plant badly needed in an energy-starved State. Even though the nuclear expert community has vouched for the safety and security of the installation, the message has not percolated to the masses. That can perhaps be effectively done by the political community once it is fully convinced of the desirability of having the plant, with minimal risks.
R. Sampath, Chennai.
The safety measures undertaken by the government, post-Fukushima, in nuclear plants in India should be addressed transparently. Has the government ever thought of posting a specialist for diseases caused by atomic radiation at Kudankulam?
Pandian Palanikumar, Ramanathapuram.
It is true that anything that deals with nuclear material is always risky, and any accident will spell disaster to humanity. It is also a fact there is an acute shortage of power in the country despite hydel and thermal projects. Let us hope that the nuclear scientific community and the government will coordinate efforts to win the confidence of the people agitating against the project.
J.P. Reddy, Nalgonda.
When massive development projects are undertaken, considerable effort has to be put into preparing the people for the inevitable displacements they cause. Development is not an abstract concept. It is for the people. But before they dream of a better future, safety comes first.
J. Akshobhya, Mysore.
That the Tamil Nadu government is treading cautiously is understandable. It was only a few days ago that we saw the devastation caused by a major earthquake in the north east. And months earlier, even an advanced country like Japan is still finding it an uphill task to cope with the aftermath of Fukushima. We cannot figure out when and where an earthquake, tsunami or cyclone can play havoc with the lives of the people. Under these circumstances, it is imperative to think twice before going ahead with Kudankulam.
P. Chandra Mouli, Nellore.
Closing the doors on nuclear energy is not an end in itself. Rather, it opens up a Pandora's box of opportunities to expend our wisdom in searching for other sources of energy which are not as lethal as nuclear energy. Incentives and investments have to be made in exploring solar, wind, tidel, hydroelectric and bio energy. The same views apply in regard to petrol and diesel consumption. We should take the cue from other nations which are going ahead with biofuels.
Bala P., Madurai.
Many a time, inadequate information creates apprehension in the minds of the general public. The subject of nuclear energy comes directly under the PMO. It would be ideal if the PMO publishes a full-page notification in all vernacular and English dailies explaining in simple language and diagrams how the Kudankulam plant works, the likely risk factors and how these are being addressed.
Despite the odds against nuclear energy, there is no denying the fact that it is cheap, clean and offers plenty.
C.A.C. Murugappan, Kothamangalam.
But for the British colonial interregnum, dams, aerodromes and the railways would have remained a distant dream for medieval India. The wise counsel of economists and scientists must prevail over whims and fancies.
Annadurai Thanthony, Srirangam.
Perhaps, both the State and Central governments are guilty of a lackadaisical approach in not taking swift action in dispelling the fears of the people. It is something that must be addressed as soon as possible. We cannot forget that there are people who live in naturally radioactive areas like Jaduguda (uranium), Manavalakurichi, Chavara (thorium), and who are exposed to natural background radiation. As radioactivity cannot be seen but only experienced, the fears of the people have to be allayed.
G. Kulandaivelu, Karaikal.