The 80-year old former president Abdul Kalam’s plans to undertake a strenuous 10-day hurried tour of coastal India with a view to to certify the safety of the Koodankulam nuclear power plant underlines the snowballing crisis at hand. Kalam is new to nuclear technology, his field is missile technology. But Kalam backs atomic power as a source of clean energy. He would presumably go on to certify nuclear power is also safe energy. But is he competent to make an assessment in such a short timeline as 10 days despite his scientific temper? More important, will he sound convincing?
The issues are indeed very serious and if the opinion-piece by Praful Bidwai in the respected daily from Beirut, Daily Star is any indication, a judicious judgment on them cannot be made even within 100 days. Indian reports have portrayed the agitators as poor, illiterate fishermen and I am learning from Bidwai that actually Udayakumar is an accomplished academic.
I scoured the Russian press and what strikes me is the apparent calm with which it is factually and accurately reporting on Koodankulam. Buried in the heaps of the Russian reports on Fukushima, however, I spotted a commentary by a knowledgeable expert in early March, which could give a correct prognosis that trouble lay head on the horizon. All that Anton Khlopkov, a known specialist on nuclear issues would say for certain was that Fukushima wouldn’t deter Rosatom from building nuclear power plants abroad. Barkis is willing.
Posted in Politics.
– October 17, 2011