Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a growing, global movement

Nuclear Energy and Democracy by MV Ramana and Suvrat Raju. MV Ramana is Associate Research Scholar at Princeton for the Program on Science and Global Security.

Nuclear power cannot really be justified on the grounds of environmental sustainability, largely due to its production of radioactive wastes that stay hazardous for millenia, and the risk of catastrophic nuclear accidents that can never be ruled out. Finally, from the point of view of social equity, nuclear power is an inefficient way to deliver energy to the hundreds of millions of people living in villages spread out over a vast countryside - the very people that policy makers disingenuously use to justify their nuclear policy.

For these reasons, many of which are common across countries, and especially after Fukushima, there has been a marked decrease in public support for nuclear power. While some government like those in the United States and China have stayed the course, others in Venezuela, Switzerland and Germany have heeded democratic opinion and moved away from atomic energy.

In this evolving dynamic, the protest in Koodankulam demonstrates the power of an organised non-violent mass movement. For six months, the people of the region physically stopped the construction of a nuclear plant, while resisting a barrage of governmental propaganda. Whether or not the government is finally able to force the construction of this particular reactor, this enduring movement is likely to serve as an inspiration for environmental groups throughout the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment