Safety

…the possibility, however remote it may be, of human error, systems failure, sabotage, earthquake and terrorist attacks leading to the release of radioactive matter in the public domain, cannot be entirely ruled out.

 

Guidelines on Management of Nuclear and Radiological Emergencies

National Disaster Management Authority

Govt of India

All nuclear power plants are inherently dangerous.  They are vulnerable to any combination of natural disaster, human error or design failure.  In India, institutional faults make that risk a little bit greater.  Yet these dangers are routinely and emphatically downplayed by the nuclear establishment.

There’s a myth propagated that nuclear power has become safer in recent years.  It’s now toted as the answer to climate change – an “environmentally-friendly” option that guides us away from the looming crisis of peak oil.  The truth is that even a significant increase in nuclear power would only lead to a negligible CO2 reduction 1, and that nuclear reactors are no safer than they were in the 20th Century.  If anything, as they become more powerful, the possible consequences of an accident become even more terrible.

Mistakes do happen.  The nuclear sector is replete with chilling stories of incidents, accidents and near misses.  There’s a story or more for every day of the year - all 365 of them.2 Accidents happened before Chernobyl.  They happened after Chernobyl.  Only the explanations and excuses get tailored anew each time.  The industry is known to have manipulated safety and inspection data, in certain cases, in order to avoid costly repairs and lengthy shutdowns.3 The secrecy that blankets the Indian nuclear power sector shields it further.

Yet even under normal operations nuclear power plants regularly discharge radioactive materials into the air and water.  Nuclear waste, the deadly by-product of nuclear power for which there is no real long-term solution, remains radioactive for generations.

Proponents of nuclear power want it discussed and evaluated on the same factors as other methods of power generation.   This can only be done if the risk factor is set aside altogether as being irrelevant, if the horrific, long-lasting consequences of an accident on huge populations is considered an acceptable price to pay. At Greenpeace, we don’t think it is.

Alternative power sources exist, such as solar, wind or micro-hydro energy.  They can be combined with energy efficiency to deliver India’s electricity needs, fast.  They won’t exacerbate climate change like fossil fuels, and nor do they leave a radioactive legacy or carry the unacceptable risk of a radiological accident, like nuclear energy.  India needs to stop gambling with the health of our children and our land by investing in nuclear power.



Sources
1 Energy Technology Perspectives 2010, IEA/OECD, June 2010
2 http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/reports/nuclearaccidentscalendar/
3 “Complacency, negligence threaten nuclear industry, WANO warns". Nucleonics Week, vol. 44/ Issue 42, Oct. 16,2003

The latest updates

 

Indians Give Their Verdict!

Feature story | July 3, 2014 at 10:26

June was a momentous month for Greenpeace. This was the month that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report targeting Greenpeace and other NGOs was leaked. This was the month that Greenpeace was accused of being anti-development and funded by foreign...

Spare a thought for our next generation!

Blog entry by Debanjana Choudhuri | June 30, 2014

Motherhood is a joyful experience. It helps you value things around you and feel emotions which you were not ever aware of! Having said that, a mom feels fiercely protective about her baby and wants her child to experience all the...

Citizens come together as Jan Awaaz to protect our most fundamental rights

Blog entry by Neha Saigal | June 30, 2014

The 26th of June has special significance for all Indians who believe in democracy and the Indian Constitution. Thirty nine years ago on this very day, directed by the then Prime Minister, Smt Indira Gandhi, a state of Emergency was...

IB Report: Word play, incomplete information and emotional misguidance

Blog entry by Akshey Kalra | June 26, 2014

I assume if you are reading this, you are already well-informed about the Intelligence Bureau Report submitted to the Prime Minister of India. On the morning of June 11, as we were trying to go about our work, we got derailed from our...

IB reports aid Essar’s attempt to discredit the local resistance to save Mahan’s forests

Feature story | June 23, 2014 at 17:28

The leaks of the Investigation Bureau's (IB) reports have brought a lot of public attention to Greenpeace India and other NGOs. Albiet for the wrong reasons. The effects of these IB reports are now being felt in Mahan, Singrauli.

Supporter Campaigns at Greenpeace India

Blog entry by Tito Chandy | June 19, 2014

In 2001, when Greenpeace began shaping its work in India, just a handful of our people campaigned on issues related to the toxic waste trade and genetically engineered crops. Apart from traditional advocacy and campaigning issues, we...

Fighting the Good Fight

Blog entry by Hamza Chinoy | June 12, 2014

The IB report claims that Greenpeace has negatively impacted the GDP growth up to 3% per annum. The Joint Director SA Rizvi has accused Greenpeace of, "Changing the dynamics of India's energy mix" and the Bureau says Greenpeace,...

The Poverty of Ecology: Stealing an NGOs credibility

Blog entry by Ruth D’Costa | June 12, 2014

I have done some street fundraising for Greenpeace. Let me tell you what it's like. A fundraiser is the person you see outside a railway station wearing a Greenpeace jacket and ID card. They approach 8-9 people saying, 'Excuse me, do...

The Power of Individualism

Blog entry by Anasua Sen | June 12, 2014

It was 37 degrees in the City of Nawabs on 11th June. I had just reached an area called Kondapur, when I got to know that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has sent out a report listing Greenpeace as one of the foreign-funded NGOs and also...

Greenpeace = People Power

Blog entry by Komal Singh | June 11, 2014

The recent Intelligence Bureau report calls Greenpeace, "A threat to national economic security". Not only that, it states that, "It (Greenpeace) is assessed to be posing a potential threat to national economic security... growing...

31 - 40 of 2077 results.