The Australian Greens have urged the Prime Minister to use her impending visit to India to speak out on the ongoing repression of Indian communities opposed to nuclear power.
Massive protests against new reactors in India are adding to the global pressure on the slumping nuclear power industry.
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam said the democratic right to protest was being steamrolled by the Indian police.
"In Koodankulum nuclear reactors are being forced on local residents at gunpoint, and uranium fuel loading is imminent despite 10 safety guidelines having not been met. Brutal repression has been carried out by the police against tens of thousands of peaceful protestors at the reactor. Two people have been shot dead by police, most recently Anthony Samy just five days ago. There have been at least five deaths in the struggles against Koodankulam, Jaitapur (Maharashtra) and Gorakhpur (Haryana) nuclear power plants since 2010.
"In 2011 one of India's pioneer nuclear scientists and formerly a member of India's Atomic Energy Commission, Dr MP Parameswaran, said India should suspend its entire nuclear program because of safety risks and the unresolved problem of nuclear waste.
"Earlier this year India was ranked 28th out of 32 countries in terms of the security of their nuclear stockpiles. Making matters worse, the new Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) has fewer powers and less independence than the previous Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. The NSRA is a puppet body: answerable to a handful of government ministers who can issue orders to the body, and sack its members."
Senator Ludlam will move a motion for the Senate to call on the Prime Minister to make nuclear safety, nuclear proliferation, and the human right to peaceful protest major issues in her October visit to India.
Media Contact: Giovanni Torre - 0417 174 302
The motion: http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.
Nuclear safety in India: http://greensmps.org.au/
The anti-nuclear struggle in India: http://greensmps.org.au/
India and nuclear proliferation: http://greensmps.org.au/