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Is The Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant A Boon Or A Bane?

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By Rigya Singh:

After the wide-spread scare the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has created worldwide, the protests against the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power plant have intensified in Maharashtra. The locals along with several NGOs and opposition parties are rallying to end this issue once and for all.

It promises to be the largest nuclear reactor in the world with a production of 9,900 MW of electrical power which will provide electricity to 10 million homes in India. On December 6, 2010, an agreement was signed between AREVA, a French nuclear engineering firm and the Indian government for the construction of two EPR (European Pressurised Reactors) for its first stage which will be operational by 2018. Also, by 2050, the Indian government plans to meet a quarter of the countries’ electricity requirements through nuclear power projects with 5 being built and 39 under consideration.

Nuclear energy is an efficient substitute for fossil fuels which are fast depleting resources now. It is a clean fuel, does not contribute to air pollution expect for the production of radioactive waste whose disposal is a major concern. Nuclear by-products have to be stored for sufficient amount of time to contain the radiations. There is no place in the world which can safely enclose and confine these radiations. With construction of a nuclear power plant, comes the issue of security, safety and protection of the environment. It has long term risks too. Just take a look at the Chernobyl Disaster (1986), the Three Mile Island accident (1979) and the recent Fukushima Disaster (2011).

Madban plateau is a haven for bio-diversity and to rule it out as a barren plateau is equal to blasphemy. Construction of the JPNN will destroy the flora and fauna of the plateau. If the nuclear plant becomes operational it will have tight security around its perimeters and this will disrupt the lives of the fisherman. Moreover, the hot water discharge from the plant will affect the marine life in that area. This will snatch the livelihood of over 20,000 people. Should we overlook the interest of the common man for the sake of common man? Who will benefit from this plant if not them?

Nuclear power production is expensive due to the high cost of the fuel and the money it takes to build sturdy reactors. The JPNN’s costs calculate up to $9.3 billion. The electrical power produced from the plant will also not be cheap. The area of Madban is prone to earthquakes with over 95 of them being recorded from 1985-2010. This poses as a serious threat as the area can also be hit by tsunamis. The aftermath is something we all have already witnessed. Do we want to take the risk and go ahead with the plan without worrying about the future?

Former president of India and nuclear scientist Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam recently expressed his concerns over the general safety surrounding the nuclear plants following the Japanese disaster but showed a green flag to continue with its schemes during his Diamond Jubilee Lecture at DEI Deemed University, Dayalbagh. He said and I quote “Nuclear plants should and would continue to operate. Accidents did happen but there were always solutions to problems and precautions to be taken.”

Whether the Indian government carries forward the project which it is planning to with a recent announcement or it is stopped by the opponents, it has to be noted that nuclear power has its fair share of cons and they can outweigh the advantages. If it cannot help the people and they are protesting against it, the government should listen to their grievances too as that is how a democracy functions.

What do you think? Will the Jaitapur nuclear power plant be a boon or a bane for India? Drop your views in the comments section below.

You must be to comment.
  1. Anshul Pandey

    This presents the Indian government with a paradoxical scenario on the one hand of which they are eager to satiate the growing needs of the domestic population by any means possible, but on the other hand of which they could be held guilty of overlooking the cons of such a strategy which puts the common man’s life in danger. Modern technology comes with a variety of advantages but if used without precaution can inflict irreparable harm. The attitude and responsibility with which we use it decides whether it turns out to be a boon or a bane in the long term.

  2. Ashmak2009

    Well I want to ask what goverment wants to proove?Development of contry or Disaster.I think they all should give some time to watch The happenings around the world specially Japan.& if this is democratic India under the police control then better to have a kingdome like Gulf contries

  3. kaka

    no need of such kind of project.
    the gov. is making the politics over this issue.
    the gov. is not going to die if diesaster haappen.only the common people are going to suffer.
    take a example of Bhopal.all those criminals are living as they won some BHARATRATNA.

  4. P.J.LAKHAPATE

    Yes , this project will be a boon if we locate this plant in some remote place.
    So even if there is pollution very little damage to the society will be there.

    Probably that remote location will be Moon.

    P.J.LAKHAPATE
    plakhapate@gmail.com

  5. Anon

    This project is a bane.It is useless if people don’t want it and why should they they want if there is an prediction of earthquake to happen,to make an dissatrous country in front of other countries ???????

  6. Sayed Nazar Abbas

    Jaitapur power plant is a curse to Indian society so it should be stoped

    1. harsh

      oh no

  7. Sayed Nazar Abbas

    Jaitapur power plant is a curse to Indian people so it should be stoped

  8. harsh

    i think it must be stopped

  9. ghost rider

    u useless idiots ………………….its not a bane its a great advantage in future there will be no coal reserves. Then how would u produce electricity………..now almost all countries are depending upon nuclear power…………..dont say abt solar and wind power they cant satisfy countries needs and they are expensive………….to satisfy the growth of country economically u definetly have to implement this project…………..

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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