Sunday, December 9, 2012
Church call to end nuclear power in India: The Church of England Newspaper, November 29, 2012
The Church of South India has backed calls to decommission India’s nuclear power plants. In a statement released last week the Ecological Concerns Commission of the CSI’s General Synod said the church was in “full solidarity” the Koodankulam nuclear power plant protesters and wanted an end to nuclear power in India.
Construction has slowed to halt at the power station in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu in the face of local protests. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd and the Russian state corporation Atomstroyexport are building two 1 Gigawatt reactors at a projected cost of £2.2 billion. When completed the water-cooled reactors will be the largest atomic power plant in India.
In September 2010 the executive committee of the CSI’s General Synod issued a statement expressing “her deep solidarity” with the protestors and said the “huge radioactive accumulations at the plant site could become the principal causes of environmental and health hazards” in the event of a disaster. On 27 October 2011 the CSI Bishop in Thoothukudi-Nazareth JAD Jebachandran and approximately 100 clergy from his diocese joined local Roman Catholic leaders at Koodankulam offering their support to the anti-nuclear protestors.
But the moderator of the CSI, Bishop G. Davakadasham, said that the CSI’s House of Bishops at their 14 Feb 2012 meeting had declined to take a stand on the issue.
The 20 Nov 2012 statement from the Ecological Concerns Commission puts the issue back before the wider Indian church. They called for India to close down its nuclear power plants and begin work on renewable energy projects. They urged the government to invest in solar power and begin a nationwide education programme teaching villagers how to recycle, reduce pollution and conserve energy.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.