Free Press Journal

Nuclear power programme is mindless pursuit of greed: Bhushan


New Delhi: Terming the nuclear power programme as “mindless pursuit of greed” because of the heavy investment involved, AAP today said that if the government wants to come up with nuclear plants, a decision on this should only be taken after consulting the locals.

Senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan also alleged that the Indian government had exempted the Russian plants from the basic miniscule liability for the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.

Speaking at a seminar organised on “Lessons from Fukushima – On nuclear Safety and accountability” by Greenpeace to mark the third anniversary of Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant accident, Bhushan said the nuclear energy was one of the most expensive source of power generation and there were chances of “kickbacks” from the contracts because of the sheer high cost of the project.

“Every nuclear plant in Jaitapur has an investment of 2 lakh crore. Even if a 5 per cent kickback on the contract of 2 lakh crore, it would mean Rs 10,000 crore. Nuclear projects are mindless pursuit of greed because nuclear plants are being imported,” Bhushan, a senior advocate and AAP founder-leader said.

“AAP’s stand is before setting up a nuclear plant the locals should be taken into consideration. You cannot thrust nuclear plants on them. This is the real concept of Swaraj, which our party advocates,” he said.

He also added that although a nuclear disaster would cost Rs 15 lakh crore, the liability cap fixed under the law was only Rs 1500 crore.

“In the Kudankulam incident, the Russians plant have been exempted from the basic miniscule liability of Rs 1500 crore. Now they are demanding that for Kudankulam (reactor) 2,3 and 4  they should be exempted from liability.”

Bhushan also demanded a team of independent experts should be formed to study the economics of nuclear power.

The AAP leader alleged that the government’s plan to embark upon a plan to generate more electricity from nuclear source was because of the commercial interests involved.

“The attitude of the Indian government on nuclear energy even after its aftermath shows that it is unwilling to learn any lesson from such accidents.

It also shows that the entire establishment in the country has gone so corrupt and has gone in the grip of various commercial interest that public interest is totally sacrificed,” Bhushan said.

He added that the KKNPP project is coming up, precisely, at a place where we have the largest wind energy plant in the country with an installed capacity of more than 5000 megawatt.

“The cost of generating solar and wind electricity was much below than the cost of generating nuclear electricity because of the high capital cost,” he added.

Greenpeace energy campaigner Hozefa Merchant demanded that instead of capping the liability to Rs 1500 crore, the government should take the responsibility of extending unlimited liability.

Satyajit Chavan, anti-nuclear activist from Jaitapur, said the government should keep in mind that in case of a nuclear disaster a part of the earth would be left useless.