As the news of the terrible earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, having left thousands of lives devastated, has started to pour in, it is with equal concern that we should note the deadly explosion that occurred in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as a consequence of the earthquake. If anything, this nuclear accident exposes the fault lines that exist in nuclear power generation plants in consequence of which people will be affected for generations.
In particular, the Indian ruling establishment, in its zeal to promote nuclear power generation especially through the nuclear deal with the USA, has time & again ignored all safety concerns that have been raised earlier regarding nuclear power plants. Its short sighted approach, bypassing all the available alternative means at its disposal such as Solar & Wind energy, to solving power needs of the nation will only put people & the environment directly at risk. The only beneficiaries in this entire nuclear gambit are those multinational as well as Indian Corporate companies who will bagging all the lucrative contracts.
We are firmly opposed to all that is NUCLEAR, whether nuclear weapons or nuclear power generation, as we also believe that, neither is nuclear power the answer to the present unsustainable growth under capitalism nor is it a safe technology that can be relied upon as 100% foolproof. It is in this context that we welcome the following press release and stand in full solidarity with National Alliance of Anti-nuclear Movements (NAAM) and will actively campaign against all Nuclear Power and weaponry issues across the country & beyond.
New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India)
We would like to express our great concern and deep anxiety about the deadly radioactive explosion that has happened at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan (some 150 miles north of Tokyo). Both online and television images of the thick white smoke hovering over the exploded nuclear power plant have come to haunt the world public opinion. The Japanese authorities have extended the evacuation zone to 20 kms.
The dangerous explosion is said to have blown the roof off the reactor building, brought down walls and caused a very heavy radiation leak. Even after the plant’s chain reaction was stopped, the fuel rods continue to produce heat and must be cooled in order to avoid the meltdown of the fuel. The plant needs a continuous supply of electricity to run the water pumps and the instruments. Since the emergency diesel generators at the Daiichi plant failed, pressure mounted in the reactor, the normal cooling function stopped and resulted in the explosion.
The Tokyo Electric Power Co., who operates the exploded power plant has said that the explosion happened “near” the No. 1 reactor. The Japanese nuclear authorities have claimed that “small amounts of radioactive material were likely to leak out.” This is the universal attitude and approach of the nuclear departments of all countries.
We will come to know the full and complete details of this worst nuclear disaster in a few more weeks or months. As the world is gearing up to commemorate the 25thanniversary of the deadly nuclear power plant accident at Chernobyl on April 26, 2011, another calamity has stuck the humanity.
India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) will try to reassure the people of India that they are far more superior than everybody else in the world and this kind of accidents would never happen in Indian facilities.
On January 7, 2005, Dr. L. V. Krishnan, the former director, safety research and health physics at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) at Kalpakkam, claimed in an interview with rediff.com that the Kalpakkam reactors escaping the wrath of the ‘Big Wave’ was a cause of pride for India, as these reactors had been built solely by indigenous effort. Although Dr. Krishnan admitted that tsunami was not taken into consideration when the Kalpakkam reactors were built, the Koodankulam nuclear power plant authorities claimed that they had built the tsunami factor into their project design without giving any proof.
The Indian public have to sit up, think and decide here and now how we want to proceed with the dangerous nuclear power program the Indian government and the nuclear establishment have been scheming with very little transparency, accountability and popular participation. Common sense would instruct us not to tread this path of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima but generate energy from safe and sustainable sources. We demand the Government of India to reverse its nuclear adventurisms immediately and chart out a different course to achieve energy security that also incorporates human security.
National Alliance of Anti-nuclear Movements (NAAM)
S. P. Udayakumar, Coordinator
Mob:+91 9865683735; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org