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

 

Javadekar must come clean on air pollution, says Greenpeace

Publication | July 24, 2015 at 18:20

New Delhi 24 July 2015 - In response to comments made by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar regarding air pollution in Delhi, Greenpeace India Clean Air Campaigner Aishwarya Madineni made the following comment:

RoS SCN notice 16th June 2015 English.pdf

Publication | July 23, 2015 at 11:25

Correspondence with Office of the Registrar

Letter to society of Registrar

Publication | July 23, 2015 at 11:15

Letter to society of Registrar

Review of GP India’s handling of Sexual Harrassment Complaints 2012-2015

Publication | June 16, 2015 at 20:52

Janet Dalziell, Global HR Director Greenpeace International 15 June 2015: In recent months, ex-staff from Greenpeace India have written to Kumi Naidoo (IED, Greenpeace International) and me to raise concerns about sexual harassment—both...

Letter to Rajnath Singh blocking Aaron Gray Block's entry to India

Publication | June 9, 2015 at 18:34

Letter to Rajnath Singh blocking Aaron Gray Block's entry to India on 6th June 2015

GreenpeaceIndiaStayApplication15May

Publication | May 18, 2015 at 13:38

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

Publication | March 9, 2015 at 16:48

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.

Priya Pillai files writ petition in Delhi High Court

Publication | January 27, 2015 at 16:15

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.

FCRA Receipts and Utilisation 2013 - 2014

Publication | December 22, 2014 at 16:52

Summary of Receipts and Utilisation of Foreign Contributions for the financial year 2013 - 2014 (Greenpeace India Society).

1 - 10 of 330 results.