Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Timely Intervention

With the debate over the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) heating up, with even Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha joining the protestors, the intervention by former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the man behind India's nuclear weapons programme, is both timely and credible.

Dr. Kalam started out with an enlightening essay in The Hindu, where he rebutted point-by-point the allegations made by those against nuclear power. In particular, he showed, both through numbers as well as judgment, that the Fukushima disaster was nowhere of the kind that Hiroshima was (as many advocates have been claiming) and also that the KKNPP has an even smaller chance than Fukushima of facing such a crisis.

He followed up his essay with a series of meetings and speeches in Kudankulam, where he tried to point out that nuclear power is really our gateway to a better future. His words were backed by Government officials who have been trying to explain the nuances of nuclear power to the locals. Sadly, the protesters seem to have rejected his claims and continue to block the project, which itself is dangerous because, as the AEC Chairman pointed out, you cannot just turn off a nuclear power plant like some electronic item.

Dr. Kalam's injection of rationality into the debate was much-needed. One hopes that protesters can be made to see the light of reason so that India can provide clean energy to the millions in need of it.

No comments: