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Former AERB chief against new nuclear plants

Special Correspondent
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A. Gopalakrishnan urges government to stop all projects

He expresses solidarity with those protesting against proposed nuclear plants‘Decision to allow imported plants from France, US not based on safety reasons’
He expresses solidarity with those protesting against proposed nuclear plants‘Decision to allow imported plants from France, US not based on safety reasons’

The government cannot forcefully uproot the people from their homes for taking up ‘development’ projects. Residents have a right to know what the project is all about and the risks associated with it, former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (Retd.) L.Ramdas said.

Expressing solidarity with the people of Kovvada in Srikakulam district, who were protesting against the proposed nuclear power plant, he said that the people have a right to democratic protest. They have a right to oppose projects that would not only endanger their lives, but also put at risk future generations, he said.

The government must put a stop to all the new nuclear power projects, as it has not made a case for nuclear power and it is bound to address all the issues being raised by the people, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board A. Gopalakrishnan said. The nuclear power plants are potentially hazardous, he added. He expressed his solidarity with the people of Kovvada and Jaitapur, who are protesting against the proposed nuclear power plants there.

Indian nuclear energy programme was designed to utilise the abundantly available Thorium and the nuclear power plants developed indigenously address all known safety issues. Further, they cost about Rs.8 crore per megawatt unlike the new nuclear plants being imported from France and the US, which are going to cost around Rs.38 crore per megawatt, he said.

It is apparent that the decision to allow these plants is based on other reasons than safety and economy. In fact the plants that are being proposed to be set up here use technologies that have not been tested anywhere in the world, the former AERB chief said.

China has learnt a lesson from the mishaps in the world and is now going slow on its nuclear power programme. It is now standardising the technology to improve safety. The government should stop the proposals and reassess our requirement. The country does not need such an expensive power while there are alternate renewable resources that can be harnessed to generate electricity to meet the future demands, he said.

The common folk maybe illiterate but they are not ignorant of the inherent risks from nuclear plants, the Kudankulam protest was a peaceful one but the government has arrested innocents under draconian laws, Lalita Ramdas said.

Burden on people

The proposed nuclear power plants require lakhs of crore rupees and ultimately the burden would have to be borne by the common man, convenor of Movement for People Centred Development K. Babu Rao said. A number of activists, including former bureaucrat E.A.S. Sarma and Ratnam, were also present.

The team proposes to visit Kovvada and interact with the people there and on their return hold a public meeting on Sunday morning to elaborate on their assessment of the ground realities.


  • He expresses solidarity with those protesting against proposed nuclear plants

  • ‘Decision to allow imported plants from France, US not based on safety reasons’



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