March 14: The anti-nuclear activists allege that the USA wants to “test its untested technology” of pressurised water reactors at Kovvada in Srikakulam district. Anti-nuke activists are now armed with a Bhabha Atomic Research Centre report obtained by the RTI activist, Mr Chetan Kothari. The BARC report says 1,930 scientists and other staff of nuclear units in the country have died, mostly of cancer, in 15 years. Some 197 of these deaths were suicides. BARC leads the tally with 680 deaths, followed by Nuclear Power Corporation with 346, NFC with 172 and Uranium Corporation of India Ltd with 86. There is no evidence to link these deaths with radiation, the report says.
Ms Saraswati Kavula of the National Alliance of People’s Movement, said even if the nuclear plants proposed to be set up in the state are of proven technology, there is no guarantee that they will withstand a tsunami or quake.
“Can we guarantee that another tsunami will not hit our coast, or that an earthquake will not hit the proposed uranium mines in Nalgonda or the nuclear plants and uranium mines in Kadapa,” she said. NAPM has urged people to bring pressure on the Central and state governments to stop their “mad schemes of mass murder in the name of development.”
The social scientist, Dr Chenna Basavaiah, said. “Atoms for peace is a myth and nuclear power is neither clean nor safe.” “During the tsunami of 2004, the Kalpakkam reactor was damaged and sea water entered the plant and people died of radiation impact. This information was suppressed as with all other incidents in the past,” alleged research fellow Dr K. Satyalakshmi.