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Anti-Nuclear Protesters March in Indian Capital

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TEHRAN, March 25 (ICANA) – About 100 protesters marched to India's Parliament on Friday demanding that the government give up plans to build a large number of nuclear power plants because of safety issues underscored by Japan's nuclear crisis.
Friday, March 25, 2011 10:28:06 PM
Anti-Nuclear Protesters March in Indian Capital

"The choice is clear — no nuclear," chanted the protesters from the Anti-Nuclear Struggles Solidarity Forum, a coalition of more than a dozen groups.

They said radiation leaks at a Japanese nuclear complex hit by an earthquake and tsunami showed it was a dangerous form of energy generation, and that all nuclear deals should be halted.

After the protest, petitions with 73,000 names were delivered to the prime minister's office against a planned nuclear project in Jaitapur, in the western state of Maharashtra, the environmental group Greenpeace said.

India signed a $9.3 billion deal with France's main nuclear power company Areva SA in December to build two pressurized reactors in Jaitapur — the first of 20 India wants to build to meet its soaring energy needs.

Greenpeace said the plant is being built in a more active seismic zone than the government has acknowledged.

For decades India was forced into nuclear isolation as it pursued nuclear weapons as part of an arms race with neighbouring Pakistan. India still refuses to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, but the United States passed legislation in 2008 ending a ban on civilian nuclear trade with India.

Since then, several foreign governments have been courting India to get a piece of its lucrative nuclear energy market.

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