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

 

Going Solar - A Great Investment Plan

Blog entry by Pujarini Sen | June 19, 2017

India is emerging as a world leader in solar. As the third largest solar market globally 1 , a market that is growing by 90%, making the potential of solar in our country quite tremendous. Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the...

Sounds of Nature: From Petrichor to Pollution

Blog entry by Greenpeace India | June 6, 2017

In this day and age of videos, GIFs, and tweets: sometimes we forget to 'listen'. Visuals give us an entire new angle to a story, but so does sound, and more importantly - voices.  I grew up listening to RJs babbling on FM channels...

Sun – The Ultimate Source Of Our Energy

Blog entry by Ravi Chellam | June 5, 2017

I have a close and personal relationship with the Sun.  I am named after him as I was born on a Sunday! The Sun is an infinite (at least in terms of human time scales) and renewable source of energy which is also by far the most...

Top Four Reasons You Should Go Solar

Blog entry by Grace Saji | June 2, 2017

1. Get paid  Image: media.tumblr Sell some of that electricity and get credited! 1 If you haven’t already heard about net metering, voila! Get your solar rooftop system connected to the main grid.  If you end up using lesser...

8 problems with the GM Mustard commercialisation shown in GIF

Blog entry by Grace Saji | May 30, 2017

1. India signed the Cartagena Protocol* aiming to protect biodiversity and provide biosafety in 2003, but now, is keen to give the go ahead to GM Mustard (straight road to monoculture) Image: commentphotos   2. Right from...

6 Funny Memes on Coal Power Companies' reactions to Truths

Blog entry by Grace Saji | May 26, 2017

1. Solar power is cheaper than power from a new coal plant. So there is no need for new coal power plants Image: kym-cdn 2. Solar expansion will disrupt coal power! The competition of solar power is so high that it could...

A Call From The Deep Blue

Blog entry by Shivani Shah | April 24, 2017

Take a deep breath. Every second breath you take comes from the oceans. Oceans cover over 70 percent of the expanse on Earth and afford shelter to a multitude of lifeforms with whom we have the privilege to share this tiny blue dot we...

The Ghosts of Coal

Blog entry by Sajan Ponappa | April 21, 2017

The Ghosts of Coal is a photo-blog which describes the environmental and health problems caused by coal-fired thermal power plants.

Up In the Air: Cyclists See A New Future in Delhi

Blog entry by Karthikeyan Hemalatha | April 21, 2017

The first thought that crossed my mind when I read about Delhi’s plans to construct a 6 km elevated corridor was: how difficult it’s going to be to go up that corridor! While I have a cycle that has 24 gears (makes it a breeze to...

My First Direct Action as an Activist

Blog entry by Shweta Mittal | April 17, 2017

I always wanted to volunteer for Greenpeace India since the time I heard about it. When I finally got a chance to volunteer, and attend my first induction, we were shown videos that described many of  the campaigns Greenpeace India...

1 - 10 of 1193 results.