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

 

The Volunteer Camp: An Inspiring Experience

Blog entry by Manoj Tripathi | May 23, 2014

Aah! Another batch of young volunteers – these eyes have become tired from counting the number of people who have been coming to Mahan. I wasn't too excited looking at these drowsy and tired kids, slowly settling down at 3 am in the...

The Women of Khairahi

Blog entry by Shashwati Shankar | May 23, 2014

The arrival of Essar Group's power plant has displaced the homes of several individuals in the Khairahi village in Mahan, Singrauli district. The women of Khairahi have been protesting against the company for over 2 months, in a...

Bechanlalji’s peaceful protest continues even behind bars

Blog entry by Sanchita Mahajan | May 22, 2014

I had first met Bechanlal ji in Delhi, last July. He has always been an excellent orator and a great leader. People listen to him, when he stands up to speak. Not that they don't for the others, but his aura was different - he was...

Mera Bharat Mahan

Blog entry by Abhishek Acharyya | May 22, 2014

We spend 15 most important years of life learning about our country and our world. We learnt how much we Indians care about our nature and how strong rule of law is in our country. But what if it all of this was proved to be wrong? ...

Destruction in the name of ‘DEVELOPMENT’!

Blog entry by Sumit Jagtap | May 21, 2014

Our journey from Mumbai to Singrauli and back was a memorable journey that I will forever remember. It was not just a journey but a struggle for the protection of the Mahan forest, all of us had one aim, to protect the rights of the...

Dreams in Mahan: Unraveling the minds of four young boys

Blog entry by Shashwati Shankar | May 21, 2014

When your days are spent away at boarding school and you return home for the summer holidays in the seemingly glorious Mahan forest; one wonders what life would seem like to you. Some of them are far too young to have left home for...

A Call For Justice To Unresponsive Singrauli Administrators

Feature story | May 19, 2014 at 19:01

Supporters joined Van Satyagrahis from Mahan for a peaceful protest outside the collectors office in Waidhan, Singrauli today. Forest rights activists have been treated unfairly by Singrauli's administration and police and supporters heavily...

The Day The World Rose For Forests

Feature story | May 18, 2014 at 18:10

The call to rise for Mahan on May 18 received an unprecedented wave of support, that echoed not only in various corners of India but also around the world. Over 1500 volunteers from over 120 cities across the globe raised banners urging for the...

Join the National Day of Action for Mahan’s forests

Blog entry by Prachi Mishra | May 17, 2014

' Saara Bharat MAHAN ', thats what comes to my mind when I think of the National Day of Action (NDA). This solidarity includes not only Indian metro cities but far flung places like Budgam, Leh and Imphal. Then, there are foreign...

51 - 60 of 2070 results.