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Nuclear pollution in Subarnarekha
Farmers who are staying on the banks of Subarnarekha river have been complaining for decades now that the river is poisoned. This river flows across Nagpur plateau in East India. The water is adulterated with radioactive alpha particles that cannot be absorbed through the skin or clothes, but if ingested cause 1,000 times more damage than other types of radiation, it was found in a research. The levels were 160 percent higher than safe limits set by the World Health Organisation in some places.
Scenario in India of nuclear mining
In India the radiations from installed nuclear plants has breached international safety standards for past 20 years. There is a big secret behind the nuclear sector in India. In many cases, local communities have been strong-armed for their protests against nuclear firms. Uranium remains openly exposed and scattered everywhere; on roads, rivers and drains, and people in the surrounding hardly take any protection to defy the contamination in places like Jaduguda in Jharkhand.
The corporation now controls six underground pits and one opencast operation that stretch across 1,313 hilly acres, extracting an estimated 5,000 tons of uranium ore a day, generating an annual turnover of $123 million after starting the work in 1967. It supplies nine of the reactors that help India produce plutonium for its arsenal of nuclear weapons, and is thus considered vital to India’s security.
The country has the modest uranium resource and Indian uranium deposits are of medium size. A total of 3.28 million sq km of Indian subcontinent only a small part of the land mass is assumed to be geologically favorable for hosting uranium deposits. Of the total uranium resources identified so far, Jharkhand accounts for about 45%, Andhra Pradesh 26%, Meghalaya 16%, Rajasthan and Karnataka 4% each and remaining in other states. In coming year’s nuclear power in India will draw greater attention seeing the demand for clean and secured energy in coming decades. Therefore, uranium production, the front end activity of nuclear program of the country shall continue to face the uphill task of meeting the increasing need.
How nuclear project is affecting people
Because of harmful effects of radiation, people living close to nuclear plants are opposing the existence of the plant now.
- Hair samples of 80% of 149 neurologically disabled children, mainly from Malwa region, had high levels of uranium, a study by Green Peace revealed.
- Two water samples in Doda found the nitrate levels at 94.3 mg/l and 72.8 mg/l, much above the WHO safety limit of 50 mg/l.
- Besides many other damning statistics of nuclear pollution, there is a reported shortfall of 97% for diagnostic radio-biology facilities.
The statistics may be even worse in different nuclear plants across India.