Locals residing around the proposed Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) at Ratnagiri district will court arrest on Saturday as a mark of protest against the nuclear trade agreement between India and Japan especially in the backdrop of the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.
A day before the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will begin his India trip on Friday where a bilateral agreement on nuclear trade with Japan is on the agenda, the Jaitapur Anuveej Prakalpvirodhi Abhiyan (JAPVA) wrote to Abe and members of National Diet of Japan through the office of the consulate general of Japan.
“In view of the ongoing crisis at Fukushima which is now admitted to be an unending crisis by the scientists in charge of controlling the radioactive contamination….. It would be highly immoral on part of the Japanese PM to put profits of nuclear industry before lives of millions of Indian citizens and environment. It would be highly irresponsible and a crime against humanity to proceed to ink civil nuclear agreement with the Indian government,” read the letter.
The letter further stated, “JAPVA has requested that Japan should shun entering into any agreement with the Indian government for the promotion of nuclear power now or in future.”
According to anti-nuclear activists, the 9,900 megawatt Jaitapur plant that will comprise six light water reactors from French company Areva will have Japanese-made parts. The jail bharo andolan (courting arrest) that will be backed by the Shiv Sena will see 25 villages participating on Saturday.
“For India to go ahead with the nuclear agreement, it is vital that Japan signs a nuclear trade agreement with India since some of the parts in the nuclear plant will have to be Japanese make,” said Satyajit Chavan, president, Janhakka Seva Samiti.
Chavan added, “Japan will also be providing parts to the nuclear plants that India proposed to build in collaboration with the United States. So this is an international strategy to pressurise Japan into signing the nuclear trade despite India not being a signatory to the Non Proliferation Treaty.
In addition to villagers courting arrest, village councils of 14 villages surrounding the proposed nuclear project have passed unanimous resolutions opposing the project.
The proposed 9,900 megawatt nuclear power plant comprising six European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) or light water reactors imported from Areva will be built on 600 hectares, while the remaining 238 hectares will house staff utilities. When fully functional, JNPP will be the largest nuclear power park in the world.