Venue: Dept. of Social Work, S-113
Participants: Shilpa (Moderator), Vishnu Raj, Prasanth.P, Vishnu K Santhosh, Amrutha, Ammu Ashok and Arun B.R (all S3 MSW students)
Faculty support: Mr.Ranjith Kavumkara and Mr.VS Kochukrishna Kurup
Kudamkulam is one of the highly discussed controversial issues in the present scenario. Kudamkulam Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power station, under construction in Kudamkulam at the Thirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu. Construction has been delayed due to anti-nuclear protest by the locals and peoples movement against nuclear energy (PMANE).
First of all the moderator gave an introduction about the Kudamkulam issue. India is under severe energy crisis. It was under the agreement signed by Rajeev Gandhi and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988 that the idea of the nuclear plant was proposed. Through this nuclear plant we can produce upto 1000 MW of energy and can conserve electricity thus reducing its scarcity. The moderator welcomed the group members who were to speak for the topic. Vishnu forwarded the idea that Kudamkulam is needed and there were many benefits if the nuclear power plant came into existence. It is not an expensive programme and with the lack of adequate electricity production form aquatic resources, Kudamkulam nuclear power plant is very necessary to solve this tragic situation.
Arun throwed his view point that the project could result in job opportunities; could improve the standard of living of the people leading to commercial development and the purchasing power of the people would improve. According to Prasanth, the project was signed in 1988 but it was not a controversial issue at that time. It was only later, with the involvement of the NGOs and Politicians that it became so. The Central Government had cut the license of three NGO’s which were suspected to be contributing to the growing unrest against the plant. Kudamkulam nuclear power plant is a profitable project and could save all our energy related problems.
Now the moderator handed over the issue to the group who were to speak against the topic. Vishnu Santhosh raised the opinion that it was an agreement that the project will be got over by 2008 and distribution of electricity to the people begins at 2012 around and that about 15000 crore had been budgeted for this project. But the controversy was that the work was not yet complete and the budget have been over limited. Another point was that huge amount of water is required for cooling thus further increasing the scarcity of water. The residuals from the plant would be dumped into the sea thus adversely affecting the aquatic life and indirectly the lives of the fishermen. We could meet the energy requirements through the usage of non-renewable resources such as wind and solar energy. According to Amrutha, there were many health issues associated with the plant such as Cancer and Down syndrome. Ammu was of the opinion that the intensity of wind is very high in this region. In India around 4880MW energy is produced through nuclear power plants. But Tamil Nadu alone produces 5920MW energy through wind mills.
The For group pointed out that according to former president of India Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, the lack of electricity can be solved through the nuclear power plant. At the beginning this was not a worldwide issue and it was confined among the people in that area .But the issue of lack of pure drinking water later on with the collaboration of political parties contributed in making it a burning issue. From the audience Ms.Veena made a comment that in the foreign countries the waste from the nuclear power plant are disposed in boxes by machines whereas in India it is done by humans with their bare hand causing cancerous and genetic diseases. Bhopal Gas Tragedy and Fukushima were cited as examples .Energy is not to be created by destroying the natural resources. Smoke from the plants contains isotope of hydrogen called tritium which on reaching the atmosphere gets combined with oxygen and enters and harms the flora and fauna .The current temperature of the region sea here is 32 degree Celsius and it is expected to increase by 7 degree Celsius every time when the hot water from the plant is exited into sea, which could contribute to the already existing problem of global warming.. Amrutha raised a question that ensuring environmental sustainability was the seventh goal of MDG. Won’t the setting up of a nuclear power plant contradict the goal?
India is one among the top most users of wind energy. Through wind plantations we can produce more electricity and provide job opportunities. It takes around 25000 years to destroy 50% of plutonium which is the waste out of the plant. Nuclear energy is used more in France. Now they have planned to curtail the plantations. It is very difficult to stop a plant from coming into existence.
Later on the moderator concluded the debate. The programme was a success and the audience were able to think more about the issue.
Documented by: Rashmi PC
Edited By: Parvathy.V
Photos: Aswathy Ashok