Letter from Koodankulam to the World

People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE)
Idinthakarai & P. O. 627 104
Tirunelveli District
Tamil Nadu
Phone: 98656 83735; 98421 54073


The Citizens of Russia, France and the United States

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Russia, France and the United States:

We, the activists and the popular supporters of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states of India, would like to appeal to the citizens of Russia, France and the United States to dissuade your respective governments from selling nuclear reactors to India. We would also like to request the citizens of Russia to pressurize their government not to go ahead with the Koodankulam 1 and 2 nuclear power projects.

As you may be aware, your three countries have signed nuclear agreements with our government that are shrouded in secrecy and mystery. There is hardly any transparency, accountability and popular participation in the making and execution of these agreements. The issue of liability has still not been settled. In fact, the Russian government insists that they will not be bound by the Indian liability law as they have signed a secretive Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) in 2008 that exempts Moscow from any kind of liability (Article 13).

In an arrangement that is reminiscent of the colonial days of our country, Russia has been allotted two spots (Koodankulam in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu; and Haripur in Purba Medinipur district, West Bengal), France one spot (Jaitapur in Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra), and the United States two spots (Kovvada in Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh; and Mithi Virdi in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat) where your countries’ multi-national corporations (MNCs) can set up the neoliberal nuclear East India companies and despoil our natural resources and the livelihood of our people. It is pertinent to note that MNCs have no nuclear business prospects in their own countries and are also not inclined to open new reactors in their countries.

When the whole world is shunning nuclear technology as it is dangerous, expensive, risky, unsustainable and unfriendly to people, Nature and the Future, It is unfair to dump this outdated technology on the people of the South countries. We in India are very dreadful of erecting nuclear power plants because the ordinary citizens of our country will lose their rights to life and livelihood. But the MNCs are interested in reaping huge profits at the cost of our people and the politicians and bureaucrats in all our countries are wooing massive kickbacks and commissions. This is unfair and unacceptable and we all should not let it happen.

Just as these businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians are interested in making their children and families’ multimillionaires and filthy rich, we want to safeguard our children, grandchildren and the progeny from nuclear disasters that may happen due to natural calamities, terrorist attacks or wartime hits. Nuclear disasters and contamination will spew deadly radiation across the borders of our countries, and will pollute the natural resources of our descendants for thousands of years.

Since India is a highly and densely populated country with so many problems such as poverty, illiteracy, widespread corruption and inefficiency in governance, we are not really in a position to undertake effective nuclear disaster management, rehabilitation of the victims and the appropriate follow-up efforts. The dictum “prevention is better than cure” is very much applicable for our country. India suffered the worst industrial disaster in Bhopal in 1984 and the Union Carbide gas tragedy victims are yet to receive full compensation and rehabilitation. India failed miserably even in the 2004 tsunami rehabilitation. We in India are not in a position to face or tackle a nuclear disaster.

In the light of the above situation, we would very much like to request you to put pressure on your respective governments not to sell any nuclear reactors to India in the spirit of “Occupy Wall Street” campaign that is gaining more strength and vigor around the world.

When we get rid of nuclear reactors and fissile material, we will be able to get rid of nuclear weapons that harm, hurt and kill all life on the Earth. Let us create peace and plenty on the Earth for all of us and not just for a few greedy ones.

Thank you for your solidarity!




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