jump to navigation

Church call to end nuclear power in India: The Church of England Newspaper, November 29, 2012 December 7, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India.
Tags: ,
comments closed

The Church of South India has backed calls to decommission India’s nuclear power plants. In a statement released last week the Ecological Concerns Commission of the CSI’s General Synod said the church was in “full solidarity” the Koodankulam nuclear power plant protestors and wanted an end to nuclear power in India.

Construction has slowed to halt at the power station in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu in the face of local protests. 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.

In September 2010 the executive committee of the CSI’s General Synod issued a statement expressing “her deep solidarity” with the protestors and said the “huge radioactive accumulations at the plant site could become the principal causes of environmental and health hazards” in the event of a disaster. On 27 October 2011 the CSI Bishop in Thoothukudi-Nazareth JAD Jebachandran and approximately 100 clergy from his diocese joined local Roman Catholic leaders at Koodankulam offering their support to the anti-nuclear protestors.

But the moderator of the CSI, Bishop G. Davakadasham, said that the CSI’s House of Bishops at their 14 Feb 2012 meeting had declined to take a stand on the issue.

The 20 Nov 2012 statement from the Ecological Concerns Commission puts the issue back before the wider Indian church. They called for India to close down its nuclear power plants and begin work on renewable energy projects.  They urged the government to invest in solar power and begin a nationwide education programme teaching villagers how to recycle, reduce pollution and conserve energy.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Advertisements

Japanese synod calls for an end to nuclear power: Church of England Newspaper, July 8, 2012, p 6. July 9, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Nippon Sei Ko Kai.
Tags: ,
comments closed

The Fukushima reactor venting steam following the 11 March 2011 earthquake

Nuclear power is un-Christian and must be banned, the Nippon Sei Ko Kai said last month in a statement adopted by delegates to their 59th meeting of General Synod.

In a statement dated 23 May 2012 the NSKK – the Anglican Church in Japan – said Japan’s experiences in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown had shown the risks outweighed the benefits of nuclear power.  “It is not too much to say this is a warning from God to each of us who, having suffered from nuclear bombings, have failed to acquire sufficient knowledge about nuclear power and exposure to radiation,” the statement said.

Approximately 30 per cent of Japan’s electrical power was generated by a network of nuclear power plants before the 11 March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.  After the cooling systems failed a nuclear emergency was declared at the Fukushima power plant and 140,000 residents within 20 kilometers m of the plant were evacuated after radiation leaked from the reactor.

Public concerns over the safety of nuclear power in earthquake-prone Japan led to calls for the closure of the country’s 54 reactors.  After almost two months without nuclear power in Japan Unit 3 of the Oi Nuclear Power Plant was restarted on 1 July 2012 – making it Japan’s only functioning nuclear power station.

The government has asked residents and businesses to cut consumption of electricity by between five and 15 per cent on summer 2010 levels this summer.  The reductions are voluntary and there is no penalty for individual consumers and businesses that do not meet them, but the government has said it will order rolling blackouts if demand reaches 99 per cent of supply.

In its statement the NSKK said that even “without accidents, nuclear power is a real threat to people’s lives in that it imposes sacrifices on socially weakened people throughout the process, from the mining of uranium to the disposal of radioactive waste. It also runs counter to the teachings of Jesus Christ as it cannot be sustained without people’s sacrifices.”

The synod adopted a three point statement saying “Nuclear Power Endangers the Life Created by God; Nuclear Power Destroys the Nature Created by God;  Nuclear Power Deprives People of the Peaceful Life Given by God” and called “For a World Without Nuclear Power Plants.”

“As Christians following Jesus Christ, we must speak publicly against nuclear power,” the synod said.

They called upon the government to close all Japan’s nuclear power plants and for a “conversion of Japan’s energy policy toward the development of alternative sources of energy.”

A government white paper on energy had recommended Japan wean its self from its reliance on nuclear power, and the government had suspended restarting the country’s working reactors as it reviewed its options.

But on June 16, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda authorized the restart of two reactors at the Oi plant amid warnings that the existing alternative sources of power generation could not support Japanese industry, leading to massive economic dislocation.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Indian bishops pull back from anti-nuclear protests: The Church of England Newspaper, March 16, 2012 p 6. March 22, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India, Politics.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant

The House of Bishops of the Church of South India will not back its bishops of Tamil Nadu in their fight against the construction of the Koodankulam nuclear power plant .

Speaking to the Times of India last week, the moderator of the CSI, Bishop G. Davakadasham said that while CSI bishops from the far South had joined with the Roman Catholic Tamil Nadu Bishops Council in protesting government support for the project, the House of Bishops declined to endorse their stand at their 14 Feb 2012 meeting following the meeting of the general synod.

On 27 October 2011 the CSI Bishop in Thoothukudi-Nazareth, the Rt Rev JAD Jebachandran and approximately 100 clergy from his diocese joined local Roman Catholic leaders at the construction site of the Koodankulam nuclear power station. They gave their blessing to the anti-nuclear protestors, saying the Russian-built plant was a danger to the community.

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 executive committee of the CSI’s General Synod issued a statement expressing “her deep solidarity” with the protestors and said the “huge radioactive accumulations at the plant site could become the principal causes of environmental and health hazards” in the event of a disaster.

Last week the Catholic bishops’ conference protested moves by the government to tighten restrictions on church-affiliated NGOs.  Bishop A M Chinnappa told reporters the Catholic Church had requested the “PM to stop harassing the Christian minority”.

The government has expelled a number of overseas church workers and blocked the visas of a group from the Japanese city of Fukushima – the epicenter of the 2011 Eastern Japan Earthquake that led to a crisis at that city’s nuclear power plant.

However, the CSI declined to follow the Catholic lead.  At the last House of Bishops meeting, the moderator said that the bishops agreed that “both the public and nation’s interest should be protected.”

A second bishop confirmed to the Times of India that “we discussed the on-going protests against the Koodankulam project. Bishops from south Tamil Nadu expressed their support for the protestors. But few other Bishops did not accept the argument. So we did not take any stand on the issue.”

Archbishop’s call to end nuclear power in Japan: The Church of England Newspaper, March 16, 2012 p 6. March 21, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Disaster Relief, Nippon Sei Ko Kai.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

The Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai has written a pastoral letter to Japanese Anglicans marking the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.  Archbishop Nathaniel Uematsu thanked Anglicans for their outreach to those left homeless by the 11 March 2011 magnitude 9.0 earthquake that devastated Japan’s East Coast province of Tohoku, but noted the experience had shown Japan that it must end its reliance upon nuclear power.

The most powerful quake ever to hit Japan, the Great East Japan Earthquake caused massive destruction and triggered a tsunami whose waves rose to 133 ft when it came ashore in Iwate Prefecture and pushed six miles inland around the city of Sendai.

On 12 March 2012, a Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,854 deaths, 26,992 injuries, and 3,155 people missing across twenty prefectures from the earthquake and tsunami.  The physical destruction caused by the quake left 129,225 buildings destroyed, 254,204 buildings “half collapsed”, and another 691,766 buildings partially damaged the police reported.  The World Bank estimated the economic cost of the earthquake at $235 billion, making it the most expensive natural disaster in world history.

The tsunami waters also led to meltdowns at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, forcing residents within a 12 mile radius of the plants to leave their homes.

The Japanese government has since shut down most of the country’s 54 reactors, which had provided some 30 per cent of Japan’s electricity, leading to mandatory conservation schemes and rolling blackouts for the whole country as the country switches over to alternate forms of power generation.

In his letter, Archbishop Uematsu described the relief work being undertaken by church agencies for those devastated by the earthquake and tsunami.  He noted that “even today a great number of people remain in evacuation centres and temporary shelters with fears and uncertainties in their minds.”

“One year on, in the devastated towns and villages in the North-east of Japan, life is still far from a strong recovery. Even now, a great number of people are left with nowhere to go back to since their houses were contaminated by radioactive material.”

The archbishop noted the earthquake had led to a rethink of Japan’s energy policies.  Japan, he noted, “is the only country in the world which has experienced an atomic bomb attack in its history, and therefore we have always insisted on the abolition of nuclear weapons.”

“Meanwhile we have enjoyed the comfort and convenience which nuclear power plants have provided for us. The Great East Japan Earthquake revealed completely the fragility of the safety with which we have always trusted these nuclear power plants.”

“Now we must seek to change our lifestyle and find different energy sources,” the archbishop said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Bishop arrested in anti-nuclear protests in India: The Church of England Newspaper, November 25, 2011 p 6. November 29, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India, Environment.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Church leaders are among those arrested by police in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu in a crackdown against activists protesting the construction of the Koodankulam nuclear power plant.

The Roman Catholic Bishop of Tuticorn along with clergy from the Church of South India’s (CSI) diocese of Thoothukudi-Nazareth were booked by police on charges of unlawful assembly, creating a public nuisance, “spreading rumours” and blocking civil servants from the lawful performance of their duties.  They have been released on bail pending hearing and a formal investigation.

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 and for three months have blocked access to the site to construction traffic and have stated hunger strikes to halt the building.

In September the CSI General Synod issued a statement expressing “her deep solidarity” with the protestors and warned it was a mistake to build a nuclear reactor in a “tsunami-prone and quake-prone area,”

The risk of ecological damage was great, the CSI stated. “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.”

On 27 Oct 2011, the CSI Bishop in Thoothukudi-Nazareth joined protestors outside the plant and pledged his solidarity in stopping construction.  However, local government leaders have charged the bishops with crossing the line between religion and politics.

The indictment charges the protestors with having used places of worship to organize political protests – a practice forbidden by Indian law.  Police have also begun an investigation of the churches’ bank accounts to see if they were funding the protests.

A police spokesman told the Indian press the churches’ involvement in the protests was bad for local businesses.  “Some are asking the people to revolt against the government and against the plant. This is unfair. The shops are closed, the life is not normal…this cannot be allowed to go on indefinitely,” the spokesman told the New Indian Express.

Church ‘no’ to nuclear power in India: The Church of England Newspaper, November 11, 2011 November 12, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of South India.
Tags: , ,
comments closed

Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant

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.”