As I was reading about the organized protests against nuclear energy project development in India, I noted the following passage. It provides evidence for the importance of working hard to spread accurate information about nuclear energy and the health effects of radiation.
Sunthari Pentan sat near the church in a black sari and gold-colored necklace, rolling small cigarettes called bidis. The mother of two said her biggest concerns regarding the nuclear plant were possible birth defects, radiation in the food chain and tainted fish killing her husband’s livelihood. If rich, technologically advanced nations such as Japan, the U.S. and the Soviet Union have had reactor accidents, she said, how can Indians believe the government’s safety claims, given its corruption and opaque oversight.
Think about that. A woman who makes her living hand rolling cigarettes is actively protesting the construction of a nuclear power station because she has been convinced – by the concentrated efforts of the opposition – that the plant will release materials that may cause birth defects, radiation in the food supply and radioactive materials that might cause fish to be rejected in the market.
This provides me one more reason to inform nuclear supporters that we now have a vehicle that we can support that might help alleviate this issue of ignorance. (That is not an insult, ignorance can be cured with information.) Please visit the Nuclear Literacy Project and donate generously. Both financial and technical assistance would be greatly appreciated.