But it is unfair to mix the effects of Nuclear tests carried out for Defense Nuclear with peaceful Civil Nuclear energy programme. One Press report says how radiation can travel through the food chain into human body with an instance from Bikini an atoll in the western chain of the Marshall islands in the Central Pacific Ocean, where the Americans carry out as many as 66 Nuclear tests. One of the most popular delicacies among the people is the coconut crab. This type of crab has a curious habit of eating its own shell, which it sheds every year. By eating the coconut crab, which had large accumulation of the radioactive substances, the people of Bikini developed thyroid diseases, Cancer and Leukaemia, even though they were permitted to return after many years of the tests conducted. The fear due to the mechanism of radiation damage is the main causative factor for hesitation by the public towards acceptance in India.
MASS EDUCATION ON NUCLEAR POWER PROGRAMME IN INDIA
Advocacy through the media is a favored practice among NGOs' as it lends viability, credibility and urgency to the issues. But NGOs and social activists seem to think that sensationalising information is a surefire strategy to grab media attention.
Environmentalists and some NGOs' have contributed a number of articles which pose the question of a possible negative impact of Nuclear power facilities on the environment and the population. Such issues which were raised in this context are largely connected with the public's insufficient information availability concerning specific safety principles of new generation nuclear power plants.
Hence, there is an urgent need to inform the public at large, mass media bodies, independent experts and seminar participants about know-how and many-year old positive experience of operating and maintaining NPPs' in the fullest possible and most objective manner. Information on operating and maintenance of Nuclear power facilities and safety aspects with reference to international norms will solve the issues which concern among the population and NGOs' to the great extent, resulting increase in NPP active supporters.
Television is considered to be the most effective media of communication to allay the fear and misapprehensions, concerning, NPRs', by conducting open discussion between Nuclear power proponents and the people/NGOs' concerned. In fact, substantial allocation in the project cost must be allotted for mass education to kick start the public awareness of nuclear energy option.
KOODANKULAM POWER PROJECT - A CASE STUDY
The light water reactors (called WER) of I 000 MW capacity proposed in Kudankulam would strengthen the south Indian power supply corridor. It would be a massive investment in the infrastructure sector and would contribute enormously to the local economy and employment. Barren sites would become areas of flourishing activity when the reactors are set up.
The nuclear establishment has since initiated steps to take the public into confidence regarding the safety of the proposed nuclear project at Kudankulam. As a first step, the entire structural and safety details of the reactors (VVER) were kept open in one seminar, commissioned during 5th November at Chennai, wherein Indian and Russian atomic energy Departments participated.
When the Kudankulam Atomic Power Project was mooted in collaboration with Russian Federation during 1988, there was a public outcry in the Vernacular press. Anti-Nuclear campaign was mounted by various NGOs' in the form of street plays, theme songs and day long fasting to drive home the point.
The public anxiety on the project is over the safety aspect of the Russian Technology in the light of Chernobyl accident on April 26, 1986 in the former USSR. The press was wild in reporting on how the radiation leaves its legacy in food chain and has caused widespread contamination not only in the Soviet Union but carried out by wind and affected the vast areas of Europe, causing widespread destruction in Dairy-farming regions upto Sweden.