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The nuclear energy debate in India: Response to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam from Dr Surendra Gadekar

Dr. SURENDRA GADEKAR is a well-published physicist of international renown, and a Gandhian. After an MSc and PhD (in theoretical physics) in 1979 from IIT Kanpur, he worked for two years as a post-doctoral fellow at Iowa State University, US and then two years as a research associate at IISc in Bangalore. He resigned in 1986 (a little before Chernobyl) to do antinuclear work when the Kakrapar Nuclear Power Plant was started. In 1987, he started Anumukti A Journal Devoted to Non-Nuclear Indiaand has carried out and published studies of the impact of nuclear energy around the plants at Kakrapar, Rawatbata and Jadugoda.  He has also carried out a study at Pokharan, which is as yet unpublished. Dr Gadekar’s response follows:

Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and‭ ‬Mr.‭ ‬Srijan Pal Singh deserve a special thanks for their article in the Sunday edition of The Hindu‭ (‬November‭ ‬6,‭ ‬2011‭) ‬entitled‭ ‬“Nuclear power is our gateway to a prosperous future.‭”‬

Although most of what they write is irrelevant to their topic and the rest just plain wrong,‭ ‬the very fact that the establishment has to bring out its‭ ‬‘Big Guns‭’‬ to answer the questions raised by the Koodankulam movement,‭ ‬is a testimony to the success of the movement.

Originally I had intended to write a point by point refutation of their article,‭ ‬but I have been deterred by the sheer length of the article.‭ ‬What I intend to do here instead is to paraphrase their points and answer them one by one.‭ ‬I would urge activists to visit the Hindu website at and to read the article in the full. I make this request specially so that friends can point out if I have been unfair in summarizing their work or have missed something important.

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