NEWS FLASH- 1000s Arrested in Kalpakkam anti-nuke protests: Tamil Nadu


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BY  nityanand jayaraman


Kalpakkam Protests; Kalpakkam Arrests

G. Sundar Rajan, a friend and co-activist, is currently travelling to Singaperumal Koil in Kanchipuram District to meet Abdul Samad — one of the organisers of the resistance to the expansion of nuclear capacity in Kalpakkam nuclear park. Samad is one of nearly 2000 people who have been detained in about six different locations for organising a hunger strike and blockade of the Kalpakkam nuclear complex. Villagers living in the areas surrounding the Madras Atomic Power Station are protesting against the expansion of the nuclear complex, and have said that they will not tolerate the addition of any new facilities in Kalpakkam. A 500 MW prototype fast breeder reactor has been under construction for nearly a decade, and villagers have said that this plant must be abandoned. They have also condemned the dumping of radioactive waste within the premises. Additionally, they have demanded that the entire share of electricity produced at the MAPS complex should be distributed to nearby villages. They pointed out that it is vulgar that the local villages suffer 10 hour shortages while Kalpakkam township, more than 10 kilometres away enjoys 24-hour electricity.

 

 

Ten Urgent Reasons to Reject Nuclear Power Now #mustread #mustshare


Sunday, 17 February 2013 07:54 By Jim McCluskeyTruthout | Op-Ed

Bags of radiation-contaminated materials, to be stored in a mountain, in Kawauchi, Japan, Nov. 16, 2012. With the slow pace of cleanup efforts, residents of Okuma, a town evacuated in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, have become pessimistic about ever living there again. (Photo: Ko Sasaki / The New York Times) Bags of radiation-contaminated materials, to be stored in a mountain, in Kawauchi, Japan, Nov. 16, 2012. With the slow pace of cleanup efforts, residents of Okuma, a town evacuated in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, have become pessimistic about ever living there again. (Photo: Ko Sasaki / The New York Times)Many citizens do not want nuclear power. They know it is both far too dangerous and far too expensive. UK governments have largely supported nuclear power as well as nuclear weapons. Many citizens do not want nuclear weapons because they know they are insanely dangerous, and they want to live without the constant threat of sudden and complete annihilation hanging over them and their children. The close relationship between the weapons and power in every sense of the word may explain differences in politicians’ and citizens’ agendas on these issues.

The remedy is for us to wise up, get organized and then instruct the politicians to either do what we want – or join the job market. Here are 10 reasons we should reject nuclear power now.

1. Nuclear Power Stations are Prohibitively Dangerous.

There have now been four grave nuclear reactor accidents: Windscale in Britain in 1957 (the one that is never mentioned), Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979, Chernobyl in the Soviet Union in 1986 and now Fukushima. Each accident was unique, and each was supposed to have been impossible.

A recent book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, concludes that, based on records now available, some 985,000 people died between 1986 and 2004, mainly of cancer, as a result of the Chernobyl accident.

Alice Slater, New York representative of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, comments: “The tragic news uncovered by comprehensive new research that almost one million people died in the toxic aftermath of Chernobyl should be a wake-up call to people all over the world to petition their governments to put a halt to the current industry-driven ‘nuclear renaissance.’ Aided by a corrupt IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), the world has been subjected to a massive coverup and deception about the true damages caused by Chernobyl.”

At Fukushima we have the worst industrial disaster ever. Three simultaneous ongoing complete meltdowns have proven impossible to stop or contain since they started almost two years ago. These meltdowns are still pouring radiation pollution across the Japanese landscape.

International experts (e.g. Charles Perrow in Normal Accidents) agree that there will continue to be disastrous failures at nuclear power stations, and that this cannot be avoided.

As Edward Teller, the great nuclear physicist, said, “If you [try to] construct something foolproof, there will always be a fool greater than the proof.”

2. Nuclear Power Stations are Prohibitively Expensive.

Nuclear power stations are so expensive that they are never built without substantial contribution to their costs from citizens in the form of subsidies.

The UK government has said it will not subsidize new nuclear power stations. However this seems to refer to the most overt form of subsidies and not to “hidden” subsidies.

Nuclear power stations are so dangerous that no insurance company will undertake to pay the total costs of a disaster or a terrorist attack. So to get them built, the government has to limit liability. This is a subsidy.

The cost of decommissioning also is an enormous sum. Any limitation to liability for decommissioning costs will be a subsidy. If the industry does not pay the total costs of disposing of nuclear waste and ensuring it is safe for thousand of years, then this is a subsidy. The industry does not pay the total costs of all research into nuclear energy. This is a subsidy.

3. The Same Technology is Used for Power and Weapons.

Any country that purifies uranium for use in nuclear power stations can also use its purification plant to manufacture weapons-grade fissile material. Nuclear power stations use the same technology as that required to manufacture nuclear weapons.

Already, nuclear power development has been used repeatedly as a cover for creating nuclear weapons. Of the 10 nations that have developed nuclear weapons, Jim Green, of Friends of the Earth, Australia, tells us, “six did so with political cover and/or technical support from their supposedly peaceful nuclear program – India, Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, North Korea and France.”

4. Nuclear Waste is Dangerous for Thousands of Years.

Since nuclear waste will be dangerous for thousands of years, we are dumping our energy problems on future generations instead of using the benign methods of creating energy that are available to us.

The currently favored “solution” of burying the waste in bedrock and sealing off access forever is desperate and irresponsible.

5. Plants and Waste Storage are Vulnerable to Terrorist Attack.

Because of their potential of mass destruction, nuclear power stations are a major target for terrorists. The 9/11 atrocity would be tiny by comparison. If a large plane were flown into a nuclear power station, the disaster would be immeasurably worse than Chernobyl.

John Large, an international independent expert on nuclear power, has said that if a plane was flown into the nuclear waste storage tanks at Sellafield, the whole of the English Midlands could be catastrophically contaminated.

Safety studies of Sellafield carried out for local authorities tell us that a direct hit by a passenger jet on the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant would contaminate Britain with two and a half times more radioactivity than the amount that escaped during the Chernobyl disaster.

The studies also inform us that up to 2,646 pounds of the highly radioactive and long-lasting isotope caesium-137 would be released into the atmosphere, contaminating Britain, Ireland, continental Europe and beyond, making huge swathes of the country uninhabitable and causing more than two million cancers.

In the light of the twin towers atrocity, this is a completely unacceptable risk.

6. They Epitomize the Centralization of Power.

There is a burgeoning awareness among citizens that they are more free and more in control of their lives if facilities and decision-making occur at the local level, that national government should only control those matters that cannot be dealt with locally. Nuclear power is the ultimate way of centralizing power, putting it in the hands of experts, multinational corporations and national – often distant – government. In complete contrast to this, benign methods of supplying power, such as wind and water turbines, solar energy and heat pumps can be in the control of local communities and even, for some provisions, households.

7. Poor countries are made dependent on rich ones.

Poor countries do not have the knowledge and facilities to design, build, maintain and run their own nuclear power stations. This puts them at the mercy of the rich and more technically advanced states if they go down the nuclear power route.

Technically less advanced countries with nuclear power stations increase the safety risks. As Professor Peter Bradford of Vermont Law School, a former member of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, writes, “A world more reliant on nuclear power would involve many plants in countries that have little experience with nuclear energy, no regulatory background in the field and some questionable records on quality control, safety and corruption.” By adopting benign forms of power supply, the UK could help to promote the people-friendly way forward.

8. These plants draw funds away from the development of sustainable energy.

The spending of funds on research and other nuclear power development is highly detrimental to the development of sustainable energy supplies.

Each nuclear power plant costs around 5 billion pounds (7.9 billion in US dollars) to build. With such sums available, we could quickly realize our sustainable energy potential. As Friends of the Earth tell us, “With some of the windiest weather in Europe and almost 8,000 miles of coastline, the UK is a powerhouse waiting to be switched on.”

9. Uranium will become increasingly scarce.

The quantity of available uranium is limited and will decline. The price will go up. If the world adopts nuclear power as a major source of energy, there will be uranium wars just as there are now oil wars. There are unlikely to be wars fought over sustainable locally generated solar, wind or wave power.

Thomas Neff, a research affiliate at MIT’s Center for International Studies writes, “. . . shortage of uranium and of processing facilities worldwide leaves a gap between the potential increase in demand for nuclear energy and the ability to supply fuel for it.”

10. Government supports nuclear power against the will of the people.

The adoption of nuclear power is favored by the government, but in a referendum, it would be rejected by citizens as being too dangerous and too expensive. A major reason that government favors this form seems to be due to vast amounts of money and effort being put into lobbying by the power companies. Their profits are huge, so they have the funds for lobbying, whereas the NGOs and citizens-at-large, who are against nuclear power and have overwhelming arguments, do not make the same impact because they lack the funds for effective lobbying.

This is one tendency we are trying to help counter by this article.T

 

Selling Nulcear Power to Women: Why the Industry has got it Wrong


Donella H. Meadows, http://www.dianuke.org/
DonellaMeadows1
Donella H. Meadows is an adjunct professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College.

The U.S. Council for Energy Awareness has finally figured out how to sell nuclear power to women.

Women have always been a problem to the nuclear industry. Polls consistently show them to be more opposed to nuclear power than men. (“Because of their deeply held distrust of science and technology,” the Council for Energy Awareness assumes.) The Council, which, if it were honest would call itself the Council for Nuclear Propaganda, has never bothered to spend much of its $21 million annual budget advertising to women. It has sensed a better investment airing spots during football games and the World Series, telling men how nuclear power is going to free us from the domination of oil-rich Arabs.

That’s a lie, of course. Nuclear power generates electricity, which runs our lights and electric motors. It is not a substitute for oil, which runs our cars and planes. A flat-out program to build nuclear power plants could reduce our oil imports by a few percent at most. But then the CEA’s job is not to tell the truth, but to make us look kindly on nuclear power.

Which, when it came to women, was assumed impossible, until now. Through tireless polling, the CEA has finally found the key to female hearts and minds. Women, it has discovered, care about their children and about the environment and especially about the environment surrounding their children. And so the pages of Good Housekeeping, the Ladies’ Home Journal, and Better Homes and Gardens are soon to be graced with CEA ads showing kids playing happily in sylvan scenes with nuclear cooling towers rising in the background, and sweet pictures of a baby turtle crawling to the sea.

“The baby sea turtles hatching on nearby beaches are more evidence of the truth about nuclear energy; it peacefully coexists with the environment. Because nuclear plants don’t burn anything to make electricity, nuclear plants don’t pollute the air,” say the ads. “Nuclear plants produce no greenhouse gases.”

Nuclear plants produce radioactive wastes that no government on earth has figured out how to store safely, but those wastes are indeed not greenhouse gases. Under normal operating conditions nuclear wastes don’t pollute the air, though if anyone goofs and lets them loose, there is no more insidious pollutant of air, water, or soil. Nuclear wastes have to be sealed off in concrete tombs, kept under pools of water, and guarded closely for the several centuries; they have to be kept out of the hands of terrorists; the buildings that contain the reactors become hazardous waste when they are pulled down. But these matters would bother you only if you had some sort of irrational feminine distrust of science and technology.

young-women-in-nuclear-power-plantNuclear plants could, at best, reduce the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases by 12 percent, which is the amount generated by coal-burning power plants — the only greenhouse-gas-emitting activity for which nuclear power can substitute. To replace all existing coal plants with nuclear ones, would cost $5.3 trillion (and a multiplication of nuclear power reactors worldwide from the present 400 to 5,000). We could get the same amount of greenhouse gas reduction from energy efficiency at one-seventh the cost.

But let’s not bother the ladies’ heads with economics. Let’s help them, as the CEA kindly puts it, “sort out the facts from the conflicting messages they hear.”

“I want my kids to grow up in a healthy environment,” says the attractive young woman in the TV ad, as her kids play by a pristine lake. “I want them to breath clean air. I”m for nuclear energy because … it’s one of the cleanest sources of electricity we have. When I was in college, I was against nuclear energy. But I’ve reached a different conclusion. [Nuclear energy] means cleaner air for this planet.”

Her name is Karen Strauss, she is an environmental engineer, she travels around the country as a spokeswoman for CEA, and that college she was in when she was “against nuclear energy” was Dartmouth. She is the granddaughter-in-law of Dr. Lewis Strauss, once the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He is the one who promised that nuclear power would be “too cheap to meter.” Now it is the most expensive way of generating electricity, even with major government subsidies.

Karen Strauss doesn’t mention the high cost of nuclear electricity, nor does she point out that the utilities funding the CEA run not only nuclear plants, but also coal-fired plants, sources of just about every air pollutant you can mention. They spend some of their tax-deductible public relations money telling us about nuclear power and clean air, and some fighting the Clean Air Act.

Nuclear power has dragged some utilities down to bankruptcy. Many others long ago reached the conclusion that they can meet their customer’s needs far more cheaply and with less environmental threat using technologies ranging from hydropower, wind, and solar thermal to smart conservation. The utilities that haven’t caught on yet are still trying to promote their dangerous, dinosaur technologies by lying to the public.

Maybe they would wise up if they hired more women.

 

Supreme Court bench reserves order on Kudankulam nuclear plant


Date: 6 December 2012
Subject: DNA – Supreme Court bench reserves order on Kudankulam nuclear plant

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea seeking a stay on commissioning of the Kudankulam nuclear plant till all safety measures are put in place.

Following a marathon arguments spanning the last three months, a bench of justices KS Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra reserved its order on the plea that questioned the safety and security of people, the environmental impact and other issues linked to the controversial plant.

The court was hearing a bunch of petition filed by anti-nuclear activists challenging the project on the ground that safety measures recommended for the plant by an expert body has not been put in place. They also raised various questions pertaining to the disposal of nuclear waste and the plant’s impact on environment.

The Centre, Tamil Nadu government and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, which operates the plant, had refuted all the allegations on safety and security aspects. They submitted that the plant is completely safe and can withstand any kind of natural disaster and external terrorist attack.

The bench on the first date of hearing on September 13 had refused to stay the loading of fuel for the plant but had agreed to examine the risk associated with the project, saying the safety of people in its vicinity is its key concern.

“Public safety is of prime importance. There are poor people living in the vicinity of the plant and they should know their lives would be protected,” the apex court had said.

Maintaining that the plant is completely safe, the Centre had said all the recommendations made by the expert group cannot be put in place in one go and would be implemented in due course within six months to two years.

“The design includes provisions for withstanding external events like earthquake, tsunami/strom, tidal waves, cyclones, shock waves, aircraft impact on main buildings and fire,” NPCIL had said in its affidavit.

“As regards to the vulnerability of the KKNPP to the terrorists attacks, sabotage, etc, it has elaborate physical security arrangements in place to ensure its security. The structural design of the facilities at KKNPP ensures that in the event of a physical attack, the structure would prevent the release of any radioactivity into the public domain,” it had said.

ARTICLE URLhttp://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_supreme-court-bench-reserves-order-on-kudankulam-nuclear-plant_1774211

 

Nuclear Safari in Deutschland: A Waste Story of 2009


 

 
S. P. Udayakumar
Nagercoil, July 2009
Back in June 2009 I got a first-hand opportunity to face the nuclear demon that I had been fighting against all along. Deep in a hell-hole in a remote corner of a distant country!
I did not realize the seriousness of this trip until I saw my name in big bold letters on the door of a bathroom in the visitor’s building of Salt Mine Asse II. I was asked to strip naked and change the clothing starting with the underwear that they had kept ready there. The shirt and pants measurements and shoe size I had provided were helpful. As I dressed up, I was beginning to look more like an astronaut who was going into the depth of the Earth rather than flying into the space.
With a heavy hard helmet donning my head, a dosimeter was hung around my neck. With the hefty battery kit pulling my neck on the right side, a sturdy headlight was attached to the helmet. And then a very weighty oxygen kit was hung on my left shoulder. With all these safety accessories bogging me down, I could feel mild pain on my shoulders. The instructions given to deal with a possible fire or accident inside the mine was turning my stomach and caused palpitations.
When my friends from Argentina, Brazil and Germany and I were going down a rickety lift (do they still call it that when it is taking you down?) with a strong draft with so much noise and shake, I thought of the dangerous African safari I had undertaken a few years ago in the Kenyan jungles. But this nuclear safari was a lot more dangerous and deadly. If I was forced to pick one of the two safaris, I would certainly choose the African animals.
At 590 meters depth, we were at the mouth of the salt mine. And there was a small hand-carved St. Barbara grotto on one of the walls. Saint Barbara is the patron saint of artillerymen. She is also traditionally the patron of armored men, military engineers, gunsmiths, miners and anyone else who works with cannons and explosives. She is invoked against thunder and lightning and all accidents arising from explosions of gunpowder. She is venerated by every Catholic who faces the danger of sudden and violent death at work.
We all got onto an open jeep driven by a woman mine officer and her colleague. I could not completely understand the architecture as there were narrow passages going in all directions. But one thing was clear. That I was deep in the long and convoluted nuclear waste intestine of the German nuclear industry.
Our first stop was a hidden corner of the nuclear waste burial site. Beneath our feet lay hundreds of deadly and treacherous waste-containing barrels. The woman mine officer explained to us in German-tasting English that the barrels were mechanically downed through a narrow metallic hole and buried. We were standing some 6 feet above this deadly treasure on a heavy metal plate. The possibility of radiation was so alarming. The waste, plutonium, the clothing of the workers, metallic parts of the equipment, and everything else had been crushed and thrust into those barrels.
We were driven deeper into the mines. At one point, our guide stopped and showed us the crevices of the mines where salt water was dripping and forming into icicles. One could easily guess that not everything was right in the salt caves. At another place, more water was collecting with a steady and heavy flow. One liter of water was collecting every minute and this water was being taken out of the caves manually.
We went to another side of the caves at 625 meter depth. Some 8,000 low-grade waste barrels had been dumped there and were covered with 2 feet of salt blown mechanically. If you scratched with your bare hands, you could dig out the hazmat.
Most of the nuclear waste from the German nuclear power plants had been stored in the Salt Mine Asse II since 1967. Although the local people had objected to the project, the German government and scientists supported the project; went ahead and buried the wastes until 1978. The water flow inside the caves became much stronger in 1988 but the government still stubbornly rejected all opposition.
In June 2008, it was found out that the water in the mine was contaminated with Cesium 137. There was a suggestion to fill up the mines with water so that it would take the waste even deeper and make the whole depository safer.
As I heard all these disturbing stories, I was naturally worried about the nuclear waste management in India. With scary and sordid thoughts and feelings crisscrossing my mind and heart and soul, I stood there stunned. The nuclear safari was over.
At 650 meter depth, the mine authorities checked our radiation exposure level at the Hand Fuss Kleider monitor before exiting the mines. The lift ride back to the face of the Earth was quite uplifting in every sense of the word, and I had never been happier to see the light at the end of the (vertical) tunnel. We were asked to take another shower and change to our original clothing.
We all know shit happens. But we cannot understand the concept of making nuclear shit in order for it to happen in the future, to our own children and grandchildren and the umpteen numbers of unborn generations. One thing is for sure, though! Those who make nuclear shit will suffer the shame and stigma. Or, will they?

 

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