"Indian government enlists psychiatry to “cure” anti nuclear activismIf anything, then, the really delusion-prone people are on the other side, in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). The day the Fukushima crisis took a turn for the worse last year, with hydrogen explosions ripping through three reactors, DAE secretary Sreekumar Banerjee said the blasts were “purely a chemical reaction and not a nuclear emergency …”. NPCIL chairman SK Jain went one better: “There is no nuclear accident….It is a well-planned emergency preparedness programme …“
No margin for error Hindustan Times Praful Bidwai June 04, 2012 When it comes to thrusting nuclear power down the throats of unwilling people, official India sets a record of violations of dignity and rights that is embarrassing. Which other government but India’s maligns all anti-nuclear protesters as foreign-inspired and lacking any agency? Where else would the police file 107 FIRs against 55,795 peaceful anti-nuclear protesters, but at Koodankulam, charging 6,800 with “sedition” and ”waging war against the State”?
And which other government has asked a psychiatric institution, in this case, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans), to “counsel” people and convince them that the project, despite the hazards, is good for them?
To its discredit, Nimhans despatched psychiatrists to Koodankulam to ”get a peek into the protesters’ minds” and help these insane people to “understand the importance” of the plant. According to reports quoting its director, Nimhans has “commenced the collection of primary data” and is now seeking “field reactions” to write “multiple strategies” to address “the problem” (the opposition to nuclear power).
Such opposition is thus equated with schizophrenia, fear of sexual intimacy, paranoia or craving for victimhood, to be cured by drastic means. By this criterion, more than 80% of the people of Japan, Germany, France and Russia – who oppose new nuclear plants - must be considered abnormal.
However, five in under 15,000 reactor-years of operation worldwide
hitherto translates into one meltdown every eight years in one of the
globe’s 400-odd reactors. The question is if humanity can afford any
meltdowns, with their destructive consequences, for multiple
generations. There’s no reason why a meltdown would cause in India
fewer than the 34,000-70,000 cancer deaths estimated conservatively
from Chernobyl. According to a study, a single meltdown would cost
Germany the equivalent of twice its GDP. The damage in India would be
Leaving aside accident probability, it’s not remotely irrational to
regard nuclear power as inherently irredeemably hazardous, and nuclear
plants or uranium mines as bad neighbours which can cause damage. Fear
of and loathing for nuclear power is shared by millions worldwide.
Their numbers have grown exponentially after Fukushima. Indeed, it
couldn’t have been otherwise.
If anything, then, the really delusion-prone people are on the other side, in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). The day the Fukushima crisis took a turn for the worse last year, with hydrogen explosions ripping through three reactors, DAE secretary Sreekumar Banerjee said the blasts were “purely a chemical reaction and not a nuclear emergency …”. NPCIL chairman SK Jain went one better: “There is no nuclear accident….It is a well-planned emergency preparedness programme …”
The explosions were chemical reactions. But the very presence of
hydrogen indicated severe nuclear fuel damage. The explosions further
ruptured plant structures, aggravating the three meltdowns and
releasing huge quantities of radiation. The leaks were at least
two-and-a-half times greater than earlier feared, and the quantity of
caesium-137 released was officially estimated at 160 times that from
The government fails to comprehend the cardinal truth that after
Fukushima, the safety of inherently hazardous nuclear power can no
longer be analysed from the usual “expert” perspective of what’s
likely, but must consider what seems impossible within conventional
frameworks. As the official German Ethics Commission on nuclear safety
recently said, after Fukushima, the perception of nuclear risks has
changed decisively: “More people have come to realise that the risk of
a major accident is not just hypothetical, but that such major
accidents can indeed occur.”..."