Readers' Forum: Rethink about Rooppur Plant


TILL the last moment, I was secure in my belief that the government would come to an understanding with the opposition and hold an election acceptable to all. I have lost count of how many letters that I have written about the caretaker government system and how many articles and letters written by conscious citizens that I have read. But all was in vain. The government did not hesitate to deceive the people. We are feeling betrayed and outraged.
I have lost interest in reading newspapers or watching television. What is the use? There is nothing to give us hope; only disturbing news awaits us. The January 26 issue of a leading English-language daily brought one such news. In his article, ‘Rooppur on fast track!’, Abdul Matin, a former chief engineer of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, analysed in details every aspect of the project.
He asked: ‘Are we not aware of the inherent danger involving the safety of a nuclear power plant if we try to build one without having a reasonable critical mass of properly trained manpower? Should we ignore the IAEA’s guidelines and the repeated warnings of the senior and experienced nuclear experts of the country?’
He added: ‘We should remember that a nuclear power reactor is not a toy to play with. To fast-track the Rooppur project without having properly trained manpower is a very risky proposition. Bangladesh is simply incapable of dealing with the consequences of any such risky adventure. It is, therefore, advisable to build our manpower first before fast-tracking the nuclear project.’
When the plan to build a nuclear power plant was made public, scientists, experts and conscious citizens urged the government to abandon the plan because they feared it could become disastrous as nothing around the project was going as it should be.
Corruption, inefficiency and negligence are the main causes. So, if an accident happens in the proposed Rooppur nuclear power plant, we will be doomed.

Nur Jahan