India Uncut

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Despatches 34: Something to hide at Kalpakkam?

Actually, there could only be one plausible reason for the warning to everyone to not eat fish: the sea being contaminated with nuclear waste from the Kalpakkam nuclear reactor near Chennai. The authorities have so far denied that the nuclear plant was damaged at all, but rumours keep coming of a cover-up. If there was a leak from there, you can bet the government would try to cover it up – or they’d be slaughtered in the next elections. And if any nuclear waste did enter the sea, the only way to stop common people from finding out would be to stop them eating fish.

I’m sure environmental groups are monitoring the situation anyway, and I’ll take this speculation no further. At the moment, the benefit of my doubt goes to the government – but if a cover-up is indeed found to have happened, there’ll be hell to pay.

And a nuclear leak would mean hell. Many people are now questioning the wisdom of locating the plant right besides the sea, where it is vulnerable to a tsunami or even a naval attack, but what is even more ludicrous is that it is just an hour’s drive away from Chennai, a mejor metropolis with five million people. If nothing has gone wrong at Kalpakkam, it is not because of foresight, but due to sheer luck.
amit varma, 8:04 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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