March 23, 2011
The locals living in villages next to Koodamkulam Nuclear Plant have been asked to vacate their homes and stay away for at least 15 days, by the end of March 2011 to conduct its first trial test. What will these tests yield for Trivandrum and other southern districts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu is yet to be revealed by authorities and nor has our Government taken any responsibility to enquire.
With the recent radioactive explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan (some 150 miles north of Tokyo) there is mounted pressure to check the cost at which development is being sought. Japanese authorities have extended the evacuation zone at Fukushima Daiichi to 30 kms, even as reports seep in that even people beyond the 100 km radius are fleeing, in an effort to escape disaster. Food items from Japan are being discarded due to the fear of contamination by international community.
The Fukushima accident establishes that nobody can assure us total safety with regards to the nuclear power technology. If Fukushima radiation can end up in Sacramento, California which is over 10,000kms away – Kerala will NOT be spared from Koodamkulam! The nearest Kerala district, Trivandrum is a mere 135kms away from Koodamkulam.
As the world is gearing up to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the deadly nuclear power plant accident at Chernobyl on April 26, 2011, another calamity has stuck the humanity. The Chernobyl accident released 1000 times more radiation than the Hiroshima bomb and the effects of radiation reached up to Holland which is almost 2000 kms from Chernobyl. It is understood today that the nuclear disaster in Japan is close to the scale of Chernobyl. Hence, we should be informed about the ways in which radiation can reach our own home lands.
At Koodamkulam two 1000 MW Russian nuclear power plants are being built and plans are in place to add four more. A sham public hearing took place on June 2, 2007 but never reflected people’s outrage against the plant in its final report. With six 1000 MW nuclear power plants, a reprocessing plant, dangerous nuclear waste, and a weapons facility (just be]cause Koodankulam is far away from Pakistan and China), the sea water is going to be contaminated; fish is going to be contaminated; the air, food, water and everything hundreds of kms away from Koodamkulam will be polluted. Even if these accidents and attacks do not happen, the daily intake of radionuclides and low-level radiation will do severe damage to the health of our people in Trivandrum, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Alleppey districts.
Not only the Southern Kerala residents are in danger but it being the major tourism sector of Kerala lot of outsiders including foreigners will be affected. Just imagine the number of people who could get affected in the tourist centres of Kanyakumari, Kovalam, Kumarakom and Alleppey. So we urge foreign and domestic tourists to stop from travelling to these centres. The piligrim tourist centre of Sabarimala where crores of people come during a short period will also fall within this sector.
In the light of the above situation, we demand that the Koodankulam nuclear power plant be shut down immediately. Kerala is the only state which has stopped two nuclear power plants with public protests: in Peringome, Kannur and in Kothamangalam, Ernakulam. Common sense would instruct us not to tread this path of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima but generate energy from safe and sustainable sources.
A protest in front of the secretariat with a poster campaign will take place at 10.30 am on 24th March. A public meeting and a film screening will follow at 5PM at the press club, Trivandrum.