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Members of civil society urge to cancel the Rooppur plant contarcts

Members of civil societies have expressed grave concern about the news on Russia not taking back the nuclear wastage from the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.

In a statement sent to the media on Friday, the civil society members had asked the government to stop moving forward with the Rooppur power plant project plan unless all measures are taken in concrete manner to ensure the disposal of nuclear wastage and protection of environment.

In the statement they said, “As per the section 7(4) of the Nuclear Power Plant Act 2015, utmost priority should be given on the nuclear safety in establishing the nuclear power plant and as per the section 7(5) and 7(6), nuclear waste management should be established for the handling, treatment, conditioning and disposal of the nuclear wastage.

It said that several government statements regarding the Rooppur power plant have time and again said that the Russian contractor company would take the full responsibility of treating and disposing the nuclear wastage in proper manner.

Now in reality, Russia has been trying to impose the responsibility of treating nuclear wastage on Bangladesh which is under no circumstances can be acceptable for Bangladesh, they said.

The civil society members who issued the statement said, the government has shown its adamancy in signing contracts and going ahead with the plan of implementing nuclear power plant in an extremely populous country like Bangladesh even though the incidents and examples of nuclear meltdowns in some countries have raised concerns.   

They said that the government did not bother to take public opinion in finalising the plant location and signing contracts for the implementation of such high risk project. The details about the signed contracts are not even made public.

As per the news published in the media, it seemed like that Russia virtually now has held the government as hostage and tried to impose the onus of treating nuclear wastage.

For a country of 160 million which do not have the technical know-how and capacity about nuclear power plant, this is matter of grave concern. 

While countries like Italy refrains itself from nuclear power plant by just considering the issue on nuclear wastage management; Australia, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines and Portugal expressed their anti-nuclear stance; Spain, Switzerland, Belgium and Germany stave themselves off from nuclear plants and Japan could not fully recovered from Fukushima disaster, nuclear power plants could be proven as a curse than boon.

The statement said, “It is nearly impossible to store nuclear wastage and treat those properly in a populous country like Bangladesh. Under the circumstances, we are urging the government to cancel the contracts signed for the nuclear power plant. As an alternative, we urge the government to take a feasible energy alternative by consulting with experts and taking opinions of the common people.”

The persons who sent on the statements were-Khushi Kabir of Nijera Kori, Advocate Sultana Kamal of Ain of Salish Kendra, Rasheda K Chowdhury of Gono Shakkhorota Abhijan, human right activist Hamida Hossain, Professor Anu Muhammad, Member Secretary of National Committee to protect oil, gas, mineral resources, power and port, Dr Sayed Manjurul Islam, Professor of English of Dhaka University, Sayeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), M Hafizuddin Khan, Chairman of Shujon, renowned columnist Sayed Abul Maksud and Dr Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB).

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