Power starving world took shelter under the umbrella of nuclear plants. The people became wiser. They changed the atomic power into energy through atomic plants. They did not know that the radiation from these plants would be as dangerous – even more – as that from ultra violet rays of the sun. Man cannot gain immunity from it. The nuclear plants are good only till they do not let radioactive fumes come out. It may come at intervals affecting animal’s world including man and poison food too.
The developed countries started the plants as they wanted more energy for their luxurious life. As soon as they realized the hazards of these plants they propagated the usefulness of the plants in developing countries being misled by the West many third world countries purchased the plants from the former. The west started dismantling their own – but only after the serious leakage at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. 1,35,000 persons had to be moved to safer places within two and a half hours. Arthur Purcell reminded the world that it was “another example of technology’s limit in serving humanity.”
Besides the death of a large number of people the radioactive particles spread to Germany and polluted the atmosphere in Poland, Austria, and France. Thousands of tones of milk and vegetables had to be destroyed. Radio activated cattle too were killed and their meat destroyed. The seriousness of the nuclear plant pollution can be estimated from the feet that since 1957 more than 4000 accidents have taken place. Another study reported other 151 accidents in 14 countries between 1971 and 1984. A private body in USA reported 3000 accidents in Nuclear Power Projects in the USA in 1985 and 2,300 in 1984 besides 750 emergency shut downs in 1984.
It looks rather strange that even after so many accidents polluting the world atmosphere there are still near about 450 nuclear plants supplying electricity to 26 countries. France tops the list with 70% dependence on nuclear power. USA comes next from the bottom with 18%. The former USSR had 41 plants for its 11% nuclear power generation.
Dr. David Lilienthal started the first Atomic Power Station in the world he is again the first to question “the moral right to promote and sell such a complicated immature and fundamentally unsafe nuclear system.” One of the problems of the NPPs is that there is radioactive waste that remains pollutant for thousands of years. Who can manage this waste for such a long period covering so many millenniums? 3000 tones of radioactive waste of Indian Rare Earths in Kerala was dumped into the Arabian sea in the 60s. It has also contaminated Periyar River. It has resulted in the death of 20,000 people with cancer in Kerala which is twice the national average.
In India there have been accidents and leakage at Tarapur exposing 3,000 workers. Madras Atomic Power Station at Kalpakkam and C AND V the NPP of Rajasthan also faced the same problem. There were lapses of safety at Narora, Kakrapar, Kaiga and Nagarjunsagar plants too. Sugatha Kumari the well known Malayalam poetess and many other luminaries formed a group that came to the conclusion that “That radiation hazard was intrinsic to and inseparable from atomic power generation, as irrespective of their design and construction all reactors were liable to routinely release radioactivity and harmful radio-nuclides.” Even after this warning the clout of Indian nuclear scientists has been making efforts to have more nuclear plants.
The movement against this most hazardous pollutant is gaining grounds in the USA and some European countries. About 600 orders for atomic reactors were cancelled. Some of the states in the USA have banned commissioning of the existing plants too. In India there is no organization to investigate. The affected workers are dismissed and new ones are appointed. Let us hope that some non government organization in India too would force the government to put an end to these most hazardous pollutant projects and to have energy give importance to the plants based on sea waves, wind and sun rays that are non pollutant.