By Shankar Sharma*
Shortly after the European Union said it would consider including nuclear power in its “green” taxonomy, five former prime ministers of Japan expressed shock at such a statement by the EU.
It seems such an unfortunate coincidence that just weeks after recent media reports about it, global communities are experiencing unprecedented concern over possible nuclear fallout from Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
News reports have emerged stating that France’s nuclear watchdog had expressed high alert after the nuclear plant burned down in the Russian attack, questioning how close the attack on the nuclear plant was to the disaster.
Even Rafael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), reportedly said: “The conflict in Ukraine could compromise the safety of nuclear installations”, and “the best action to ensure the safety and security of nuclear facilities of Ukraine and its people would end this armed conflict now.
These developments should indicate the enormity of the risks to global communities associated with the continued obsession with nuclear energy and the possession of many more nuclear reactors.
These issues are much more relevant to India, including the government. seems determined to build dozens more nuclear reactors while ignoring the warnings and recommendations of numerous credible reports from around the world and its own community leaders.
It would do our country a great disservice if our leaders refused to diligently consider what Japan’s five former prime ministers said in this context:
“As former prime ministers of Japan, we were shocked to learn that the European Commission is planning to include nuclear energy in the EU’s taxonomy, which is designed to facilitate investment in nuclear power projects. against climate change and other projects related to sustainability.
“After what happened at Three Mile Island in the United States and Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, the disaster at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant proved at great cost that nuclear power cannot to be sure’.
“Furthermore, what we have witnessed in Fukushima over the past decade is indescribable tragedy and contamination on an unprecedented scale. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and large areas of agricultural land have been contaminated.
“Radioactive water far beyond storage capacity continues to be generated, many children are suffering from thyroid cancer, and massive amounts of the country’s resources and wealth have been lost. We do not want European countries to make the same mistake.
“Promoting nuclear can ruin a country. Like policies that turn a blind eye to climate change, policies promoting nuclear energy threaten the survival and existence of future generations.”
Can we hope that these recent developments will convince our bureaucrats and political leaders to have a rational and public welfare oriented view of nuclear energy?
*Energy and Climate Policy Analyst, Sagara, Karnataka