No new nuclear threats in India

September 24, 2013

The Indian government is currently planning to develop and install nuclear power plants in several states. A proposed plant in Mithi Virdi, in Gujarat, has drawn protests due to the dangers it poses. According to an appeal by Indian socialists, five villages--Jaspara, Mithi Virdi, Mandva, Khadarpar and Sosiya--stand to lose 777 hectares of fertile land to the proposed plant. They note that the reactor design is untested technology.

According to the appeal: "The Government of India is aggressively pursuing its nuclear programs in spite of people from Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu), Jaitapur (Maharashtra), Mithi Virdi (Gujarat), Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh), Gorakhpur (Haryana), Chutka (Madhya Pradesh) and Haripur (West Bengal) waging relentless struggles against these anti-people and unsafe nuclear power projects promoted by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd.. Their massive peaceful protests have mostly been met with callousness and brutal repression on the part of the governments."

In a statement, the International Socialist Organization extends its solidarity to those fighting to stop the new nuclear threats in India.

Dear Sisters and Brothers of Gujarat,

We stand with you in your struggle to prevent the construction of yet another nuclear plant in your state. Today, the world is still reeling from the shock of the disaster at Fukushima and still dealing with its effects. We have also seen, in recent years, so-called "minor accidents" at the Kakrapar nuclear plant in Gujarat. We think it is highly irresponsible for the government of Gujarat and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NCPIL) to move ahead with proposals to build a new nuclear plant in Bhavnagar District. The decision to build this plant is in keeping with Narendra Modi's plan to "develop" Gujarat by laying waste to people and the environment.

We are worried about the impact that this plant will have on the people of Mithi Virdi, Mandva, Kadarpar, Jaspara and Sosiya. We are worried about the impact it will have on the 150 or so villages in the surrounding area. The rich, fertile land that sustains life in these parts will be taken away from the people and handed over to NPCIL. Without access to land, the people will suffer, and in their suffering lies the immediate human cost of constructing this plant.

Women in Gujarat protest the Mithi Virdi nuclear project
Women in Gujarat protest the Mithi Virdi nuclear project

Here in the United States, the movement against nuclear energy is growing. In the state of Vermont, for example, there has been an ongoing struggle to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. This is a plant where there have been ongoing leaks of radioactive tritium into the groundwater. A few years ago, one of the plant's cooling buildings collapsed. Soil tests near the plant have shown elevated levels of highly toxic Cesium-137. We are happy to report that after years of struggle, the people of Vermont have won a major victory--the plant is due to be shut down next year!

We are inspired by, and stand in solidarity with, your efforts to stop the Mithi Virdi nuclear project. We join you in saying: "No nuclear power plant in Mithi Virdi, not anywhere in the world!"

International Socialist Organization (U.S.)

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