Indian doctors consider alternatives to nuclear energy
Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), IPPNW’s Indian affiliate, held an interactive session on nuclear energy on October 20 at the India International Centre in New Delhi. Professor Andreas Nidecker, President IPPNW Switzerland, and General Vinod Saighal were the featured speakers. The session was moderated by Dr. L.S. Chawla, President of IDPD.
Dr. Nidecker presented medical arguments against the civil use of nuclear power, explained in detail the reasons why nuclear energy is not a viable source for meeting the world’s energy needs, and reported that after the Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis the Swiss government decided to phase out nuclear energy. He described the harmful effects of radiation throughout the nuclear chain — from uranium mining to nuclear waste disposal. Fukushima, he said, has put a full stop to the false claims about the safety of nuclear energy.
Dr. Nidecker noted several specific drawbacks to nuclear energy, including rising costs, security issues, the absence of a solution to the waste problem, intense water usage, environmental contamination, the health effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, and the increasing risks for nuclear proliferation, and the diversion of investments away from better, safer, and more sustainable alternatives, such as wind and solar power technologies.
General Saighal urged the development of a strong antinuclear movement. Dr. Chawla pointed out that nuclear energy is fraught with dangers to the health of the people, particularly those living around nuclear facilities. He said these problems had been confirmed by the IDPD study on the health effects of people living around Jadugoda uranium mines.
Dr. Arun Mitra, General Secretary of IDPD, said that the Indian people have to build a strong resistance against the nuclear policy of the government “against all the odds posed by the government and the pro-nuclear lobby in our country.”
A detailed report from the meeting is available here.