…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.

1 Energy Technology Perspectives 2010, IEA/OECD, June 2010
3 “Complacency, negligence threaten nuclear industry, WANO warns". Nucleonics Week, vol. 44/ Issue 42, Oct. 16,2003

The latest updates


Why it’s urgent to clean up New Delhi’s polluted air?

Publication | March 8, 2015 at 23:18

The Central Pollution Control Board reported Delhi’s average PM2.5 level in 2013 as 153μg/m3, based on hourly measurements at 6 different stations. This is 15 times the World Health Organization guideline and 3.8 times the national standard.

Happy Street for #ToxiCity free Hyderabad

Blog entry by Ashish Maheshwar | March 3, 2015

Ashish Maheshwar, resident of Hyderabad participated in an activity organised by the volunteers - Happy Street.   He was part of this event to spread awareness on air pollution, and it was his second volunteer event. While Delhi is...

Mahan forests inviolate– No Go for mining says MoEF

Feature story | February 23, 2015 at 18:38

India’s most controversial coal mine project may not go ahead, according to government documents acquired by Greenpeace through RTI.

'Freeze mob' to demand clean air for Delhi - ToxiCity

Blog entry by Ishita Gupta | February 22, 2015

Yesterday, after nearly 2 weeks of preparation, Volunteers from Greenpeace Delhi successfully conducted two freeze mobs in a span of 2 hours in 2 different locations with more than 50 people .   Last year after the launch of...

Story of Mahan needs to be heard

Blog entry by Priya Pillai | February 16, 2015

I am an Indian citizen who is not afraid to raise my voice against violations of laws that have been put in place to protect the aam aadmi’s rights . I fight to ensure that rampant coal mining in forest areas is only done in...

We need to protect our children from this #ToxiCity now!

Blog entry by Aishwarya Madineni | February 16, 2015

Delhi has been ranked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the world’s most polluted city and it is estimated that 10,000 pre-mature deaths occur every year in the city due to air pollution. The Meteorological Department’s live...

Delhi Shines, at Holy Family Hospital

Blog entry by Iqbal Munawwar and Sanchita Mahajan | February 4, 2015

In our fight for a cleaner and greener planet, victories are often far and few. It takes years for campaigns to bear fruit and for our volunteer community to see tangible results of their long and hard work.  On Saturday, January 31...

Obama and Modi want to sell nuclear power to India that is too dangerous and...

Blog entry by Hozefa Merchant, Sunanda Mehta & Jim Riccio | January 29, 2015

Only two new nuclear plants are being built in the US and even they are way over budget. The recent “breakthrough” in the nuclear talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama has raised more...

Are the green spaces in Delhi free from air pollution?

Blog entry by Aishwarya Madineni | January 28, 2015

Are the green spaces in Delhi free from air pollution? The common assumption that one would have about a green space such as a park or a lake-side trail is that it is free from pollution and contamination.  Many look at these...

Priya Pillai files writ petition in Delhi High Court

Publication | January 26, 2015 at 22:45

Following the unfortunate incident with me at the New Delhi International Airport on January 11, I have filed a writ petition in the High Court of Delhi challenging the illegal and arbitrary nature in which I was ‘offloaded’ on my trip to the UK.

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