India: Nuclear Plant Opposition Grows

April 19th, 2011
in econ_news

India-nuclear Econintersect (reported by Sanjeev Kulkarni):  As first reported for GEI News by Sanjeev Kulkarni over one week ago, the Japanese nuclear plant accident has caused opposition to plans to build the world's largest nuclear power plant in India.  Since then the opposition has become more ardent.  Opponents cite that many experts say that the French Technology for the plant is untested. Only four are under construction one in France, two in China and one in Finland.

Follow up:

Public worry is reinforced by memory of one of the world's worst industrial accidents in 1984 when about 3,000 people were killed by gas leaks from a Union Carbide factory in Bhopal.

Demonstrations have increased and become violent.  One person has been killed as police, unable to control a demonstration, opened fire with live ammunition.  Opposition to the plant in the Ratnagiri region is on multiple counts:

  • the locals do not want as they fear that their livelihood through fishing and mango farming will vanish; 
  • environmental experts say it is one of the most bio diverse region on earth;  and
  • geologists are worried that it is proposed to be built on seismically active zones.
India faces crippling power shortages which are curtailing economic development.  According to a Reuters report:

"India suffers from a peak-hour power deficit of about 12 percent that acts as a brake on an economy growing at nearly 9 percent and causes blackouts in much of the country. About 40 percent of Indians, or 500 million people, lack electricity"

Energy experts however agree that that India has no alternative but to source electricity from mega nuclear plants.   

Sources:   BBC NewsReuters and GEI News

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