Karwar says no to expansion of Kaiga atomic power plant

Karwar says no to expansion of Kaiga atomic power plant

Opposition: Hundreds of villagers take part in a protest rally taken out against the expansion of Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant at Mallapur in Karwar taluk in Uttara Kannada district on Saturday. DH photo.

The Centre’s move to set up units 5 and 6 at the atomic power station at Kaiga in the district has drawn widespread outrage from the villagers and the people’s organisations in the region.

In a public hearing, chaired by Deputy Commissioner S S Nakul, at the Kaiga housing complex at Kurnipet in the taluk, the villagers demanded in unison to drop the expansion of the atomic station.

Hundreds of villagers on Saturday took out a protest march from Mallapur to the Kaiga housing complex.

The public hearing was organised following the report submitted by Mecon, a Public Sector Undertaking.

Journalist Nagesh Hegde, an expert on environmental issues, addressing the meeting said, “ The environmental impact assessment (EIA) study has not mentioned about how the nuclear waste, from the atomic power station, is being disposed of. There are as many as 138 defunct atomic reactors in the world. There is no proper know-how on the safe disposal of reactors.

Hence, there is no need for such harmful projects.” The effect of radiation in the atomic power station will last for 20,000 years. This makes the areas surrounding the atomic power station unsafe for human habitation and cultivation.

The reactors at Kaiga atomic station will last till 2080. What are we going to give to the next generations? Harmful radiation? This is the ethical question we need to answer,” Hegde said.

Environmentalist Anant Hegde ( of Vrukshalaksha Andolan) said that the number of cancer cases in the surroundings of Kaiga plant has increased considerably. But the authorities concerned have not bothered to look into it, he rued.

The protesters expressed their anguish by tearing off the copies of the environmental impact report of Kaiga plant.

Several speakers including MLA Rupali Naik and ecologist Dr Keshav Korse said that the report submitted by the Mecon, a government of India enterprise, is incomplete and unscientific.