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Nuke head snubs people’s court

KOLKATA, 21 MAY: Haripur in East Midnapur was selected as one of the sites for setting up a nuclear power plant as the land was less cultivable and there would be less displacement of people, said Mr Srikumar Banerjee, secretary of the Department of Atomic Energy and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Government of India today at the inaugural function of a traveling exhibition ~ Radiation Around Us ~ at the Birla Industrial Technological Museum (BITM) today.
Mr Banerjee who gave a presentation on the health effect of radiation on human beings said that since Haripur is on the coastal region of the state, setting up of the power plant would be easier adding that there would be no effect on the marine biodiversity where warm water from the plant would be released. He said that for Bay of Bengal the acceptability of temperature rise due to discharge of plant water has been kept at 7 degrees Celsius.
Mr Banerjee also evaded questions on the fate of the power plant in Haripur and Jaitapur that is yet to get a Cabinet clearance and have been at the eye of the storm after a fisherman was killed in police firing while protesting against the Jaitapur plant.
He also dismissed the tribunal on the safety, viability and cost efficiency of nuclear energy, headed by Mr Justice SD Pandit, former judge of the Bombay High Court and Mr Justice AP Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, by saying: “It is not a public hearing and why should we be present there.”
The tribunal had criticized Mr Banerjee for neither being present physically nor sending a representative. The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) had sent documents to the organizers of the people’s tribunal on various aspects of nuclear power, including safety of Indian N-plants, radiation, radiation, health and safety and project benefits of Jaitapur nuclear power plant project.

Soma Basu

Soma Basu

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