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Silver Jubilees call for celebrations. Today (26th April, 2011)
let us celebrate (?) the Silver Jubilee of Chernobyl
It is said that public memory is short and short indeed it is ! How many of us remember that today mankind has completed 25 years of disaster at Chernobyl power plant in Russia which claimed thousands of lives immediately and pushed lakhs of lives including the unborn ones at that time into endless misery. Do we consciously remember that more than one lakh sq. km. of land has been permanently rendered uninhabitable. Calculate the cost of this land in terms of land cost in Mumbai or Singapore or New York or Shanghai. Calculate the income and economic prosperity this land could have generated. Any way we have almost forgotten Chernobyl.
But nature has its own strange way of reminding us, if we have not learnt our lessons. It reminded us in the form of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan. Nothing short of a holocaust has struck mankind once again. Are we prepared to learn or re-learn the lesson? It does not seem so. We, particularly in India, are determined with a vengeance not to learn what nature want us to learn. Not satisfied with sitting on the volcanoes of disaster in the form of 6 existing nuclear power plants in the country we are planning 13 more, and thus adding twice the risk probability than what we already have. And what will this frenzy lead us to in terms of increasing our power availability ? Only 10% of what we are going to need? At what potential cost (not the monetary cost of setting up of nuclear power plants, but the cost in case of a disaster).
As if the Government is very much concerned about this nuclear damage, it has enacted the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010. It is nothing short of a farce. Can there by a monetary compensation for a life lost or generations doomed to misery? Even if some damage is paid, who pays the damage? – the Government. And from where the Government gets the money to pay the compensation or damage – from the taxes paid by you and me. Hence, is there any real compensation? The drama of compensation in connection with the Bhopal gas leak tragedy is before our eyes for the past 25 years. This very government has helped the culprits flee from India and the compensation proceedings have added insult to the injury for lakhs of victims. The nuclear liability is another version of the same farce.
More than the need of the common man, electricity has become a tool of exploitation used by industry to fatten their purse. Electricity itself is a dangerous element and all the means of its generation are manifold dangerous. The crowning danger is atomic energy. We need to abandon it and look for other sources of energy. There is a talk of solar and wind energy. However, India has another unique source of energy and that is energy from its cattle. More about this energy in some future dispatch.
In the meantime, have a look at the attached slides. If they stir your conscience, be a part of people’s campaign against nuclear power projects.