Anti-K'kulam group urges Japan to disband N-talks with India

Unlocking a new dimension to the four-month long agitation against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), local residents of that area in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district sprang a surprise on Wednesday, when they urged the visiting Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to disband civil nuclear cooperation talks with India.

Senior citizens of the Kudanukulam area, under the auspices of the ‘People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) which is spearheading the anti-KNPP struggle, have made an open appeal to Noda “not to revive the civil nuclear cooperation negotiations with India”.

From Hiroshima to Fukushima, Japan has suffered from both nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, “taking a heavy toll on people in your country,” they pointed out. Though Japan was scientifically and technologically superior and financially better-off than most countries of the world, the Kudankulam citizens said India was in no position to suffer a Fukushima type disaster at any of its nuclear facilities.

“Your Government has just found out that it will take some 40 years and $14.6 billion to decommission the nuclear power plants,” the local citizens said in their letter, a copy of which was released to the media. But India, fighting poverty and still facing the misery of millions of people, “cannot just afford this criminal waste of time, energies and resources,” the anti-KNPP struggle committee members said.

Referring to the Japanese foreign direct investments in India touching the $3.62 billion mark in 2010-11, the letter said: “We value our country’s socio-economic and political relations with Japan. But we definitely do not appreciate any civil nuclear cooperation with Japan.”

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