high-powerPradeep Indulkar Talks About “High Power” at CEEP Pradeep Indulkar, the director of “High Power,” a documentary on Tarapur nuclear project in India, recently talked to the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP) at the University of Delaware on his award-winning documentary which describes the challenges of energy, economic development, environmental degradation and persistence of deprivation caused by displacement of local communities when siting new nuclear facilities.

Addressing the CEEP student and the faculty community, Indulkar explained that the 27-minute documentary about the health issues faced by residents living around the Tarapur Atomic Power Station, a nuclear power plant in Maharashtra, “unfolds a world unknown, picture unshown, and a nature unborn.” The documentary also examines issues of loss of livelihood and rehabilitation. “What really happened in Tarapur in these 40 long years is an awakening the whole world needs to arrive at, before it is too late,” he informs.

The “High Power” documentary, produced mainly through people’s participation, spotlights problems associated with nuclear energy and the health consequences of environmental degradation including increased poverty levels due to displacement, hunger, and infectious diseases; overcrowding; loss in species and biodiversity owing to water pollution and changes in the habitat; conflicts and human rights abuses; and an increasingly unstable environmental situation that may spawn communal chaos and human insecurity.

For 12 years, Indulkar, a mechanical engineer, worked with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and is unlikely candidate for directing a film strongly opposed to nuclear plant. But after quitting BARC in 1994 due to health issues, he became engaged in community environmental education and when he came across the struggle against Jaitapur nuclear plant in 2009, he joined. This would later steer him towards a much bigger struggle; the struggle against India’s first and oldest nuclear power plant established nearly 50 years ago, Tarapur.

The film depicts a protagonist visiting villages of residents displaced to pave way for the construction of a nuclear plant in Tarapur. As a result, the residents lost their land, homes, sea and livelihood without getting any compensation, instead they suffer health consequences of toxic pollution and many deceases previously unknown to them.

The objective of the film, Indulkar explained, was to enlighten the world about the challenges of nuclear power especially in developing countries and to give a voice to the pains of thousands of people who experience health consequences and equity in response to energy, environment and water nexus.

Translated in seven languages including French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese along with Hindi and English, the documentary won the Yellow Oscar in the short film category in the Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro.