COIMBATORE: A disaster at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant will be more destructive than the Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984, saidSatinath Sarangi, one of the leaders of the movement seeking justice for victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy. He was speaking to TOI after interacting with students at the Park Group of Institutions on Wednesday.
Sarangi claimed that power plants in India including those in Tarapur in Maharashtra and Rawatbhata in Rajasthan were among the worst in the world with respect to safety measures. Researchers from other countries visit these plants to study how not to run them, he said. He added that in the case of the proposed Kudankulam power plant, the nuclear establishment was still to reveal safety measures.
Various government agencies have been suppressing problems they have created in areas surrounding the nuclear power plants, he said. Radiation leaks are common in the plants but the government has not yet conducted a study on the health issues caused by power plants. Getting even basic information on the number of people affected by radiation in areas near nuclear power plants is close to impossible, he added. Hospitals do not give information and even conducting surveys in villages in the vicinity are not allowed. Therefore, the hazardous effects that the power plants can cause are not yet known, he said.
Sarangi also spoke about the plight of the victims of Bhopal tragedy. He said the government has completely neglected the needs of thousands of people who were affected by the gas leak from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal three decades ago.
Thousands of kilo grams of chemical waste have been buried in and around the areas, contaminating underground water sources and creating serious health problems. Birth defects, cancers and diseases affecting the liver and kidneys are common in Bhopal, Sarangi said. To avoid similar situations the Kudankulam plant must be stopped, he said.
Actor Rahul Bose also interacted with the students and spoke about youth movements that target corruption and other pressing issues.
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