Church ‘no’ to nuclear power in India: The Church of England Newspaper, November 11, 2011 November 12, 2011Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India.
Tags: Diocese of Thoothukudi-Nazareth, JAD Jebachandran, nuclear power
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
Church leaders in India staged a one-day hunger strike to protest against the construction of the Koodankulam nuclear power station, saying the Russian-built plant is a danger to the community.
On 27 October 2011 the Bishop in Thoothukudi-Nazareth, the Rt Rev JAD Jebachandran and approximately 100 clergy from his diocese joined activists outside the construction site who were in the 10th day of a hunger strike. The Indian press reported the bishop told the gathering the church was there to extend its moral support to the protesters.
Construction has slowed to halt at the power station in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and the Russian state corporation Atomstroyexport are building two 1 Gigawatt reactors at a projected cost of £2.2 billion. When completed the water-cooled reactors will be the largest atomic power plant in India.
However, local residents have opposed the programme blocking highways to construction traffic and staging hunger strikes to halt the building. In September the Church of South India’s (CSI) General Synod issued a statement expressing “her deep solidarity” with the protestors.
The CSI charged that the “proper rules were not followed in the construction of the Reactor, in a place where the population density is too high.
“We fear that the reactor effluents would kill the fish and further, that the other life inside the sea would be affected by the water discharged from the nuclear reactor into the Bay of Bengal,” the CSI said.
The site chosen for the reactor was in a “tsunami-prone and quake-prone area,” they said, adding that the “huge radioactive accumulations at the plant site could become the principal causes of environmental and health hazards.”
The CSI joined with the local “struggling communities” around the plant and called upon the government to “hold a democratic and transparent national consultation on nuclear power projects in the country with proper assessment of economic, environmental and human cost of such expansion.
“It is true that energy can neither be created nor destroyed,” the CSI said, “but let us not forget that energy can destroy us.”