#India- Nuclear radiation impact being ignored? #disability #healthcare


Date: 24 March 2013
Dilnaaz Boga, March 24, 2013 , DNA

On his recent visit to Mumbai, Nobel Laureate Dr John Byrne, Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, said that every society has to make a basic decision as far as use of nuclear power technology went.

“US has not ordered a nuclear plant in 35 years. There has been a record of incidents all over the world unanticipated by engineers and scientists and that is why so many countries have had to rethink the viability of nuclear technology.”

But some Indian scientists feel otherwise, despite the fact that the ‘Interim Report on Tarapur’ has found indicators which show radiation-related problem among employees of Tarapur Atomic Power Station (TAPS) and villages close to it. The World Nuclear Association expects India’s nuclear capacity to grow fourfold from its present capacity of 5,000 MW to 20,000 megawatts by 2020, making it the third-biggest market after China and Russia.

Health impact of radiation

Public health care centres’ doctors, locals, physicians in the vicinity and the medical supervisor were interviewed by scientist Dr V Pugazhenthi from Tamil Nadu, who is renowned for this credible studies on the health impact of radiation around the Kalpakkam nuclear site. He is also one of the members of people’s expert committee in the ongoing anti-nuclear movement in Koodankulam.

Cancer, goitre, infertility, mental retardation common

“I found 100 cases of cancer in 2010 among TAPS employees. Local physicians said that incidents of cancer have been on the rise in the area in the last few years, particularly hepatoma, ovarian cancer, bone cancer, breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But there has been no intervention for the victims,” he added.

Cancer victims fear being ostracised so that they don’t tell anyone about it, he added.

“We are trying to decrease the exposure among workers at the plant,” said MoS Rajendra Gavit to DNA.

“Technologically, this system is out of sync, and it is economically less competitive if you switch to other energy sources,” Byrne explained.

Director Rajan Badwe of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, where patients from Tarapur and its surrounding villages are directed told DNA, “Cancer cases are not on the rise. If at all if there is any rise, it’s a small one and it is similar to any other area.”

Goitre cases have also been found in the surrounding villages, local physicians corroborated in the report. “A casual walk through the villages helped me identify 15-20 Goitre cases. TAPS doctors had carried a survey on thyroid problems by the medical superintendent denied it,” said Dr VPugazhenthi, who had conducted a survey in Chinchani village, 8km from the plant.

Back then, 40 cases of infertility were reported by a local doctor in the survey. “Spontaneous abortions, still births, hormonal imbalances in women in the form of excessive bleeding, decreased birth weight and birth defects on the rise,” elaborated Dr V Pugazhenthi.

RK Gupta, who worked for BARC for over 30 years in the fuel reprocessing division in the plutonium plant has been exposed to radiation, said, “Exposures are a regular affair. Workers have died of skin diseases and cancer. Despite this, international rules for workers are not fully implemented. There is a silence about this as people compromise because of their economic condition. Even contaminated tools that are stolen and scarp metal slow poison people. Just like people get poisoned from fish exposed to radiation very far from the site.”

Cases of mental retardation, including Down’s Syndrome, autoimmune arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, were found in villagers along with high instances of cataract and myopia at a young age.

No new health study has been commissioned in the area.

 

ATTN MUMBAI -Nobel Laureate, John Byrne on Jaitapur nuclear project @Jan23


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Greenpeace is organizing a press conference where John Byrne, noted Nobel Laureate, along with Pradeep Indulkar of Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti, will talk about the Jaitapur nuclear project and dangers of Nuclear Energy.  Byrne is Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) and Distinguished Professor of Energy and Climate Policy at the University of Delaware.

Admiral (retired) Laxminarayan Ramdas and Lalita Ramdas will also be present. Lalita Ramdas was one of the “1000 Peace Women” nominated collectively for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

 

Details are as follow:

                                Date  : 23rdJanuary 2013  Time  : 12:30pm-2pm

Venue: Conference Room,

     Press Club of Mumbai,

                                              Near Azad Maidan

 

John Byrne: Byrne has published extensively in his field and is a co-editor of the Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society and general editor of Energy and Environmental Policy book series. His most recent books are Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice. Byrne is a contributing author to Working Group III, which made contributions to the fourth assessment report, produced special reports on aviation, emission scenarios, technology transfer, ozone and climate, carbon dioxide capture and storage, as well as the third assessment report.

Pradeep Indulkar: Worked at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre from 1983 to 1994 as a Scientific Officer. Presently, he’s working in environment education. He is an anti-nuclear activist and has been working in people’s movement against Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant for past 3 years.

The press conference will be facilitated by Karuna Raina, nuclear campaigner, Greenpeace India.
For more information, please contact:

Nitya Kaushik, media officer, nitya.kaushik@greenpeace.org, +91 9819902763

Shuchita Mehta, media officer, shuchita.mehta@greenpeace.org,  +91 9560990606 

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