Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Indian govt brands anti nuclear protestors as seditious and mentally ill

NIMHANS psychiatrists, to their shame, are striving to help people “understand the importance of the nuclear power plant.” They treat opposition to nuclear power as a disorder like schizophrenia, paranoia, or craving for victimhood.

Demonising anti-nuclear protests, The Daily Star, Praful Bidwai, 15 June 12, So monumen-tally arrogant is India’s nuclear establishment that it brazenly brands its critics insane and in need of psychiatric treatment. It has asked the state-run National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) to “counsel” the tens of thousands protesting against the Koodankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu that it’s perfectly safe.

This marks a new offensive to impose nuclear power upon people who have resisted Koodankulam’s Russian-made reactors since 1988. After Fukushima, the presumption that fears about nuclear hazards are irrational betrays delusional insensitivity.

The police have filed 107 First Information Reports against an incredible 55,795 people in Koodankulam, charging 6,800 of them with “sedition” and “waging war.” This sets a new record in harassment of popular protests anywhere. Leave alone sedition, there hasn’t been one violent incident during the seven-months-long Koodankulam protests.

NIMHANS psychiatrists, to their shame, are striving to help people “understand the importance of the nuclear power plant.” They treat opposition to nuclear power as a disorder like schizophrenia, paranoia, or craving for victimhood.

By their criteria, more than 80% of the population of Japan, Germany,
France and Russia, which opposes new nuclear plants, must be
considered insane. As an academic research institution, NIMHANS
shouldn’t act as a nuclear propaganda agency.

NIMHANS seems to have taken its cue from Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, who attributed the protests to the “foreign hand.” But the real
“foreign hand” is Singh himself, who is hitching India’s energy
trajectory to imported reactors, including French reactors at Jaitapur
(Maharashtra), and American reactors at Mithi Virdi (Gujarat) and
Kovvada (Andhra).
After Fukushima, nuclear safety can no longer be analysed from the
usual “expert” probabilistic perspective. As the official German
Ethics Commission on safe energy says, Fukushima has decisively
changed nuclear risk perceptions: “More people have come to
realise…that major accidents can indeed occur.” As physicist Alvin
Weinberg said: “A nuclear accident anywhere is a nuclear accident
everywhere.”

Fukushima occurred in an industrially advanced country, still hasn’t
been brought under control, and exposes flaws in the global nuclear
industry’s technological risk-assessment methods. Says the Ethics
Commission: Fukushima “has shaken people’s confidence … [They] are no
longer prepared to leave it to … experts to decide how to deal with…
the possibility of an uncontrollable… accident.”

This applies to India too. Its Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has a
poor safety culture and record. DAE parrots clichés about the Russian
reactors’ safety. But it doesn”t even have full access to their
design.

It’s the DAE and Nuclear Power Corporation, not the protesters, who
are delusion-prone. When the Fukushima crisis decisively turned for
the worse with hydrogen explosions, DAE secretary Sreekumar Banerjee
said these were “purely a chemical reaction and not a nuclear
emergency …..
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=238299

June 16, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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