Greenpeace observes a month of Japanese quake, tsunami (Second Lead)

April 11th, 2011 - 11:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Mumbai, April 11 (IANS) Marking a month of the devastating earthquake and associated tsunami that hit Japan, members of Greenpeace India held candlelight vigils at the India Gate in the national capital and other major cities across India, including Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Activists marked the day to express protest against nuclear power projects, especially the proposed Jaitpur nuclear power project in Maharashtra.

“In the wake of what happened in Japan, we want the people to be warned against the catastrophe nuclear power plants may bring, like a living bomb among the people,” Shalini, a Greenpeace activist, told IANS.

Rajni Thakur, a volunteer who helped organise the vigil in New Delhi, said that she is afraid of the plan to build a massive “nuclear park” in Jaitapur and a nuclear reactor in Fatehabad, a mere 240 km from the capital city.

“After seeing what happened in Japan and after learning about Chernobyl, I don’t think that the government should use such risky and dangerous technology to generate electricity, especially when absolutely clean and safe renewable energy resources exist in abundance,” she said.

Over a hundred people took part in the vigils in Mumbai and Pune.

“With six untested foreign reactors of 1,600 MW capacity supplied by the French company Areva and built on a site which is earthquake prone, the Jaitapur project is a recipe for disaster,” Karuna Raina, a Greenpeace India campaigner, said in Mumbai.

Referring to Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao’s trip to Japan, Raina said the government is going ahead with discussions on signing a nuclear deal with Japan at the foreign secretary level even after a nuclear tragedy of such scale there.

Similar candlelight vigils were held in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Kochi and Chennai, said a Greenpeace India official.

Japan was devastated by a magnitude-9 quake March 11 followed by a tsunami that left thousands of people dead and crippled the Fukushima nuclear plant, causing radiation from its reactors.

Ironically, on the day Japan marked one month after the catastrophe, the country was again hit by another quake of 7.1 magnitude Monday following which a tsunami alert was issued.

Japanese authorities later withdrew the tsunami warning.

Indo-Asian News Service

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