My thoughts on nuclear power and the Kudankulam protests.
In a nutshell: Nuclear power, properly implemented and with safeguards, is not just safe but essential to cut down emission of greenhouse gases and other forms of pollution. But an independent and transparent regulatory body is essential. The protestors’ worries are not surprising, but demanding a shutdown of all nuclear projects is unreasonable and not in anyone’s interests — especially not the interests of coastal fishing communities who will be the first affected by rising sea levels and extreme climate.
And the role of certain motivated activists in instigating these protests is despicable. Particularly revolting is yesterday’s news of a “jal satyagraha”, an exploitative imitation of the very genuine protest in Harda. (Note that the Harda people were not demanding a stop to the dam — they were demanding rehabiliation and compensation for their land being usurped, both of which had been promised by the Supreme Court and stalled by the state government.)