Several human rights groups, scientists, activists and project affected groups from the Konkan region of Maharashtra have invited two retired Judges of the Indian Higher Judiciary, Justices A.P. Shah formerly of the Delhi High Court and Justice S.D. Pandit formerly of the Bombay High Court to head a People’s Tribunal on the Safety, Viability and Cost Efficiency of Nuclear Energy. This Tribunal will sit for three days in Mumbai between May 19-21, 2011 and record depositions of experts, scientists, doctors and project affected persons from the Konkan and other regions of the country. Officials and senior functionaries of the central and state government as also the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NMCIL) have also been invited to depose. The People’s Commission will consist of Justice A. P. Shah, former chief justice of Delhi High Court and Justice S. D. Pandit, a former judge of the Bombay High Court. In the context of the recent developments and people’s movement at the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, the hearings of this Judicial Commission become even more significant.

The Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti, the Maharashtra Macchimar Kruti Samiti, Janhit Sewa Samiti, Madban, Lokshasan Andolan, Lokayat and Sabrang Trust in collaboration with the St Xavier’s College, Mumbai are jointly organizing this public hearing on the critical question of safety and cost efficacy (or otherwise) of Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Power Plants.

The hearings before the commission will take place for 3 days from May 19-21, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the St. Xavier’s College in Bombay Dhobi Talav Mumbai – 2. Greenpeace Exhibition on the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster will also be on display during the three days of the People’s Tribunal.

Several experts from all over the country and abroad will depose before the Commission either in person or through electronic means. For three hours every day, project affected persons and experts from the Konkan region will also depose. Following the three day hearing in Mumbai, the two Judges panel are also likely to visit the villages in Ratnagiri district affected by the Jaitapur project and in recent months the scene of violence and repression by the local police. Even today fair entry of persons has not been allowed into the district. Enclosed is a list of some of the experts who have been invited to depose before the Commission.

Project affected personas and affected people from from Mithi Virdi (Gujarat), Fatehabad (Haryana), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh) Kovvada and Nalagoda (Andhra Pradesh) and Koodamkulam (Tamil Nadu) have also been invited to depose.

We urge that you cover this People’s Commission to encourage a wider democratic debate on the vital issue of the safety and viability of nuclear energy.

 

The Sessions will cover the following areas:

The Safety Aspect of Nuclear Energy

Is It Inherently Dangerous?

i) The radiation leakage during the entire nuclear fuel cycle, that is, from mining to the reactors to decommissioning and waste disposal.
ii) The inherent dangers of nuclear reactors

a) The inevitable leakage of radiation from nuclear reactors.

b) The problem of radioactive waste, about which no solution is actually possible, and which are leaking everywhere.

c) The inevitability of nuclear accidents, in which we can take the lessons of Fukushima also.

Radiation

Is there or Can there ever be a Safe Dose of Radiation?

Doctors and Medical Experts will depose on the issue of Radiation and the impact of Nuclear Power Plants on the Populations that live around them (including Tarapur) and labour working at nuclear power plants

Safety and Viability of Jaitapur Itself

The issue is that apart from the dangers of nuclear energy, the Jaitapur nuclear project has not been given safety clearance by even pro-nuclear countries like USA and England, apart from doubts raised by the French authorities also. Even if one argues that nuclear energy is okay, why have this kind of dangerous reactor.

Project affected persons and activists from MIthivirdi in Gujarat, Gorakhpur in Haryana, Chutka in MP, Haripur in W Bengal, Kovvada in AP apart from Kudankulam

Repression in Jaitapur

There has been systematic state repression and violation of basic human rights of persons in Jaitapur leading to the death by brute force of two protestors and also the curbing of freedom of movement in the area. Women have also been the victim of force and police beating.

On Economic Costs of nuclear electricity

The economic feasibility of nuclear energy as a choice when far more accessible and less dangerous energy options are available will be explored in this session.

Democratising the Debate on Nuclear Energy

Project Affected Populations and their Leaders, especially from Jaitapur will depose on the non transparent and anti democratic manner in which the project at Jaitapur has been sanctioned violating all democratic norms as also the views of the Gram Panchayats

The secrecy surround ding India’s nuclear establishment will also be explored. There is little transparency, it is governed by a very dictatorial law, it operates the world’s most inefficient and dangerous reactors, there are many inaccuracies dished out officially about accidents, and there is a lackadaisical attitude to safety. Today in India we do not even have an independent Nuclear Safety Regulator.

 

 

Expert Depositions

Neeraj Jain, Lokayat

Dr Surendra Gadekar, expert on nuclear energy

Dr. V.T. Padmanabhan, Sarvodaya

Admiral Ramdas, Former Chief of the Indian Navy

Dr. Anant Phadke, Medico Friends Circle

Dr Arun Mitra, General Secretary, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (INDP)

Gopal Krishna, Toxics Watch Alliance

Praful Bidwai, Journalist and office bearer of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament

Dr Soumya Dutta, a scientists with the Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha

Dr. Suvrat Raju, Research Scientist, Allahabad

Dr.Tushar Chakraborty, Head Gene Regulation Laboratory, Kolkatta

Dr. Shakeel Ur Rehman, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (INDP), Patna

Karuna Raina, Greenpeace Campaigner

Dr Vishnu Kamat, leading scientist, Bangalore

Dr. Balaram, Director IISC, Bangalore

Dr. Amar Jesani, CEHAT, Mumbai

Konkan Bachao Samiti

Ms. Madhu Mohite

Written Depositions:

Dr. A Gopalkrishnan, formerly Atomic Energy Institute

Dr Meher Engineer, nuclear scientists (sending his paper)

K. Ashok Rao, engineer formerly with BHEL (sending written deposition)

Prof Atul Chokshi of materials engineering at IISC will depose on the basis of its research paper in Current Science, India’s most respected science journal

Official Experts

Dr Manmohan Singh, Honourable Prime Minister, Government of India

Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Honourable Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra

Shri Ajit Pawar, Honourable Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra

Shri J. M. Mauskar, Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests,

Shri Jairam Ramesh, Honourable Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of India

Shri Narayan Rane, Honourable Minister for Industries, Government of Maharashtra

Shri T. Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests,
Shri R. Balasubramaniam, Member, Management Services Group, Department of Atomic Energy

Dr. S. K. Jain, Chairman & Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation Of India Limited (NPCIL)

Chief Vigilance Officer, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL)

Shri S.S. Bajaj, Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Shri S.K.Chande, Ex-Officio Member, Vice-Chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
Prof. J. B. Joshi, Member, AERB & Director, UICT, University of Mumbai, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Shri R. Bhattacharya, Secretary, AERB & Director, Information & Technical Services Division & Director, Industrial Plants Safety Division, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board,Department of Atomic Energy

Dr. K. A. Dinshaw, Member, AERB & Former Director, Tata Memorial Centre, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Dr. K. V. Raghavan, Member, AERB & Former Chairman, Recruitment & Assessment Centre, DRDO, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Dr. Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission & Secretary to Govt. of India,
Department of Atomic Energy

Shri. V. Narayanasamy, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Minister of State,
Department of Atomic Energy

Shri. T.K.A. Nair, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Principal Sec. to the Prime Minister,
Department of Atomic Energy

Shri. Shivshankar Menon, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & National Security Advisor,
Department of Atomic Energy

Shri. K.M. Chandrasekhar, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Cabinet Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy

Smt. Nirupama Rao, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Foreign Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy

Smt. Sushma Nath, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Secretary Dept of Expenditure,
Department of Atomic Energy

Shri V.V. Bhat, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Secretary to Government of India,
Department of Atomic Energy

Shri (Prof.) C.N.R. Rao, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & President, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru, Department of Atomic Energy

Dr. M.R. Srinivasan, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Former Member (Energy) Planning Commission & ex-Chairman AEC, Department of Atomic Energy

Shri (Prof.) P. Rama Rao, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & ISRO Dr. Brahm Prakash Distinguished Professor, Chairman BRNS & Former Chairman Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Atomic Energy

Shri Dr Anil Kakodkar, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Former Chairman, AEC and Homi Bhabha Professor, Department of Atomic Energy

Dr R.B. Grover, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Principal Adviser, DAE, Department of Atomic Energy

Dr R. K. Sinha, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Department of Atomic Energy

Shri Arun Srivastava, Member, Atomic Energy Commission & Member, Strategic Planning Group, Scientific Officer-H, DAE, Department of Atomic Energy

Dr. Ratan Kumar Sinha, Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)

Shri A.B. Awati, Member, Strategic Planning Group, DAE, Department of Atomic Energy

Shri R. Balasubramaniam, Member, Management Services Group, Department of Atomic Energy

Shri V T Padmanabha, Nuclear Radiation Expert

Shri Madhukar B. Gaikwad, Collector, Ratnagiri

Shri Pradip Raskar, Superintendent of Police, Ratnagiri

Shri Ajit Parasnis, Director General of Police, Maharashtra