The Chairmen of Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Power Corporation told the media on 28th October at Mumbai that it is not possible to abandon the Nuclear Reactors under the construction at Kudankulam. This amounts to warning the people that the safety of Kudankulam reactors will be in jeopardy due to the blockades by the people who are agitating against the nuclear plants. The allegation that public agitations cause the nuclear plant to face the risk of being seriously damaged and thereby implying indirectly that it poses a threat to public safety is very misleading.
Stop Misleading People
We are shocked and disturbed by the recent spate of misinformation campaign launched by the nuclear establishment regarding the Koodankulam nuclear power plant. Even as the Expert Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister recently as a result of consistent struggle by the local people, springs into action and takes into account the views of activists and the Tamil Nadu government, the AEC and the NPCIL have gone on a media offensive claiming the protests are triggered by foreign elements. While this is an affront to the protesting people’s integrity and knowledge, it is also a clear attempt to undermine the ongoing consultation process. This is entirely unacceptable.
The AEC Chairman has also tried to undermine the very rationale of the consultation process by claiming that the Koodankulam reactor cannot be shut down. Independent experts have questioned the validity of such pronouncement and have underlined that a ‘hot run’ of the power plant does not involve any irreversible radioactive process. The PMO’s press release last month also assured the activists that no radioactive process has been started in Koodankulam.
There have been precedents, like Shoreham in the US, where nuclear reactors have been shut down due to public disapproval.
We urge the government to go ahead with a transparent and democratic review of the Koodankulam nuclear power project. We also urge the nuclear establishment to desist from scuttling such process by going to media with misleading and irrelevant claims.