Syed Ali Haisum Bukhari
Indian government in pursuit of its nuclear ambition has decided to establish one of the nuclear power plant at Kudankulam, Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu State. Nuclear Power Corporation of India further planned six nuclear power reactors of 1,000 MW each. Out of the six, units 1 & 2 have already been commissioned, while 3 & 4 are under construction and units 5 and 6 are yet to be established.
Ironically, neither federal government nor Nuclear Power Corporation of India consulted Tamil Nadu government and kept its nuclear fall outs, hazards, climate effects secret to avert likely chances of opposition by state government. Now once the greater design of Nuclear Power Corporation of India proposal to Spend Nuclear Fuel (SNF) at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant has surfaced, besides a great reaction from Tamil general public, intellectuals, scientists, even chief minister M.K Stalin has expressed his deep concern about this dangerous issue. He has written a letter to PM Modi for special attention for this hazardous issue but government of India is yet unmoved. Perhaps, Tamils’ life does not matter to them. Copy of CM Stalin letter is appended below.
Indeed Nuclear pollution is very dangerous and gradually results into cancer of human beings besides environmental pollution and hazards to marine life. Major source of pollution is the Nuclear power plants. If traces of the radioactive substances are present in the water that is released from the plant, it will cause nuclear pollution. Moreover, emission of radiations can also cause this kind of pollution.
It affects almost all life forms in the surrounding environment. From plants to Human beings nothing is spared. To be more specific, the radiations can cause mutations that lead to cancer, and the dose of radiation or the level of pollution determines lethality or how deadly it is. So, nuclear pollution is extremely hazardous in nature.
The radiation after entering into the layer / horizon, subsequently starts falling into the earth’s atmosphere. This fall can take anywhere from 6 months to several years. 5% of these radioactive particles enter stroposphere, which is the lowest layer of the atmosphere. The smallest particles of the radioactive material are called fallout. The fallout settles on the leaves of plants and trees. These leaves are eaten by the grazing animals and fruits / vegetables are eaten by human being, thus radioactive material now enters the ecosystem.
Humans consume these particles through the process of food chain. Serious health problems gradually arise. Ingestion of radioactive material can lead to cancer and genetic mutation in humans. Fallouts that do not drop on leaves accumulate over the sea. This can be harmful for the sea life, which ultimately affects the humans. Radioactive contamination or nuclear pollution is the most dangerous for the environment since the wastes maintain their radioactive properties for thousands of years. There is no way to have them assimilated in the soil, water or the air in the initial form.
Fish and ocean plants are highly contaminated due to nuclear pollution; Greenpeace will also be affected in the Bay of Bengal. Ideally, nuclear power plant should be minimum 50 miles away from inhabited areas whereas this aspect has not been kept in mind while designing and establishing KKNPP. The expansion design of the project will further add to the worries of the people, who are questioning that once the case is pending in the court, establishing of the plant without the consent of Tamil Nadu government and Tamil Nadu pollution control board is illegal. People of Tamil Nadu including state government are urging the international atomic energy commission to look into the matter for deep probe of KKNNP close fuel cycle where spent nuclear fuel is regarded as a material of resource.
People demand, establishing of nuclear plant in non-inhabited areas and underground geological disposal for partitioning and burning of waste at the nuclear plant. They fear that another Chernobyl plant incident like episode may occur, endangering lives of Tamil people.