Anti-nuke activists step up protest, demand independent AERB

With the Centre deciding to go ahead with the atomic power project in Jaitapur, anti-nuclear activists upped the ante accusing the government of "lobbying" and "acting as agents" of global nuclear supplier groups.

New Delhi: With the Centre deciding to go
ahead with the atomic power project in Jaitapur, anti-nuclear
activists on Tuesday upped the ante accusing the government of
"lobbying" and "acting as agents" of global nuclear supplier
groups.

"Yes, the Centre has promised safety and transparency
in the nuclear power programme but we want the project to be
completely halted as there are serious discrepancies," said
journalist-activist Praful Bidwai.
The activists had gathered here to observe the 25th
anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and to
deliberate ways to persuade the government to halt the
proposed nuclear project in Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district of
Maharashtra.

Terming the project as "too secretive, too centralised,
too expensive and too dangerous," the activists alleged there
were a lot of "loopholes" in the project which the government
was "deliberately ignoring."
"There are a lot of problems the government is
deliberately ignoring. Atomic Energy Regulatory Board and
Department of Atomic Energy are seen as holy cows and
considered sacrosanct. They lack transparency.

"What we need now is an independent AERB comprising
people drawn from various spheres," said Achin Vanaik, a
Professor of Delhi University.

"It is important to note that nuclear-related accidents
over the past few years have increased. But our government has
chosen to ignore all these incidents and put the people`s
lives at risk," said Vanaik.

The government, along with the DAE, is acting as "agents"
and "lobbyists" for the global nuclear supplier group, he
charged.

PTI

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