Anglican church: We support the anti-nuclear protests of Kudankulam

November 26, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Official message from the Church of South India (CSI). The Protestant leaders suggest closing all nuclear plants in India, and focusing on renewable energy, such as solar. For the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the UN, the Indian reactors are among the “best and safest” in the world.

The Kudankulam nuclear plant, Tamil Nadu

The Kudankulam nuclear plant, Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu, November 24, 2012: The Protestant leaders of southern India support the protest against the nuclear power plant in Kudankulam (Tamil Nadu). In an official message, delegates of the Church of South India (CSI, Anglican)expressed “full solidarity with the struggle of the communities of Idinthikarai and Kudankulam, the survival of which is incompatible with the Indo-Russian nuclear project.” The statement was presented at a seminar organized by the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Ecological Concerns of the CIS, on November 20.

Signed in 1988 but started only in 1997, the Indo-Russian Kudankulam project has long been the center of protests, which have caused several delays. According to the local population, the reactor’s discharges will kill fish and destroy the marine ecosystem of the Bay of Bengal, the primary source of income for many small fishermen.

According to Protestant leaders, India should decommission all the power plants in the country until they are completely shut down, and focus on renewable energy. In particular, they suggest focusing on solar energy and making obligatory the application of panels on the roofs of large buildings and factories. In addition, villages and towns should reduce pollution, and start recycling programs to convert solid waste into energy.

Just this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear inspection body of the United Nations, stated that the Indian reactors are among “the best and safest” of the world. IAEA officials visited the plant of Rajashtan, whose two reactors “can handle an accident like that of Fukushima.” For analysts, the backing of the United Nations body should help to appease the anti-nuclear voices, like those of Kudankulam.

Others judge positively the statements of the IAEA, but believe that India should check the Tarapur plant, the oldest, built in 1969 by General Electric. According to A. Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, “the two Tarapur reactors are not safe and should have been closed long ago. They are similar to the atomic reactors that exploded one after  the other in Fukushima”.

– asianews

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