Australian news, and some related international items

Don’t send uranium to India- Dr Vaishali Patil speaks to Australia

Dr Patil spoke on the first of the Yellowcake Country webinars on 10th June. She spoke of the beautiful country of the Konkon area, formerly a place of thriving agriculture, fruit growing and fishing.  It is now known for having the largest nuclear power plant in the world.  Despite the opposition of farmers and fishermen, this gigantic and enormously expensive nuclear project has gone ahead.

The local people have continued their protest for 15 years. The government has the right to commandeer land for nuclear activities, giving very little compensation.  Many protestors have been gaoled. Livelihoods are threatened, not only by the loss of land, but also, the remaining agricultural and fishing industries lose their markets, due to both the real contamination of the environment, and the perceived contamination, as the area becomes known as a nuclear hub.

Environmental damage has affected the lives of the community, as well as their livelihoods. Radiation has resulted in a rise in cancer incidence. Men who never took part in the past, in protest movements are now joiningthe anti-nucler movement. But women have always been prominent in opposition to nuclear power, in the Jaitapur Anti-Nuclear Movement. It’s a peaceful protest, following Ghandian philosophy. But activists face gaol, and condemnation – are depicted as being against development, against the national interest.

Nuclear power contributes very little to India’s energy, less than 2% of energy supply. However the government invests hugely in it.  Despite the devastation from the recent cyclone, despite the onslaught of the coronavirus, the government pours huge amounts of money into nuclear industry, nuclear weapons. This investment continues, while the cyclone destruction has ravaged the Konkon area, with 7000 school buildings collapsed, 500,000 trees uprooted, and thousands of migrant workers still walking  through.

The National Alliance of Anti Nuclear Movement of India (NAAM) continues its work  and calls for Australia’s anti-nuclear movement to join forces with it, and work to prevent the export of uranium to India.

June 11, 2020 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, uranium

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