India's first independent hearing on nuclear power

Sunday, August 19, 2012: An international hearing on nuclear power will take place in New Delhi on August 22nd and start at 11 am local time. This event is organized by the Gandhi Peace Foundation and is scheduled to last up to 6 pm local time. It is expected to hear independent experts to inform the people of India about the problems which may raise with the expanding nuclear energy industry in one of the largest country of the world. Following the 2011 census India has a population of 1.2 billion people. There are actually six nuclear power plants with 19 reactors running to produce electricity with a power of 4,780 megawatts (MW) in summary.

Among the experts is Praful Bidwai, an Indian journalist who writes especially against nuclear weapons and whose articles are published in national and international newspapers. Since 1967 India has developed to a nuclear-armed nation, but it is still one of three states worldwide which didn't sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Three persons form a jury to supervise the hearing: the social activist Aruna Roy, the former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Ajit Prakash Shah and the politician K. S. Subramanian. Representatives of the environmental organization Greenpeace have announced to take part as observers of the hearing.

Many people are concerned about possible dangers with nuclear energy after the Japan disaster in March 2011. In Jaitapur at the west coast of India the largest nuclear power plant of the world is planned. The electrical power of this plant will be 9900 MW, it will consist out of six reactors with 1650 MW each. The project is based on a contract which was signed between the French nuclear engineering firm Areva S.A. and the Indian state-owned nuclear company Nuclear Power Corporation of India in 2010 and will cost about $9.3 billion.

An Urgent Appeal to the Conscience of the Nation on Koodankulam. DiaNuke.org, August 13, 2012
Jaitapur: People’s Resistance and the Local Political Context. DiaNuke.org, August 18, 2012
Daryl Kimball, The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) at a Glance. Arms Control Association, August 2012
Sundaram / Bhargavi, Delhi - People’s hearing on nuclear power, Aug 22. Sanhati, August 19, 2012

Author: Frank M. Rauch, published on WIKINEWS - Aug 19 at 23:03:11 UTC

Natural and artificial radioactivity

One of the most important sources of natural radioactivity is the noble gas radon. It also arises from the decay of naturally occurring uranium and is the rarest component of air. In some places, this radioactive gas is used for medical applications, such as in the Austrian resort of Bad Gastein since the mid-20th Century. These applications, however, are controversial, as an additional radiation exposure - even if it comes from natural sources – is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Since radon is a nobel gas, it does not react with other substances.

In contrast, the artificial radioactivity creates fission products such as iodine and cesium, which enter the natural food chain and become dangerous as shown on the following pages.

2012 Frank M. Rauch, environmental scientist, Bremen (Germany). All Rights reserved.

Written 30.04.2012, last update 26.08.2012

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