Nuclear accidents in India

An independent regulatory board is supposed to be protecting the health of people and environment, not the nuclear establishment.  So why isn’t it?

The secrecy that shrouds the civilian nuclear industry in India makes it almost impossible for citizens to know accurately the details of accidents that have occurred, or indeed sometimes whether accidents have occurred at all.  Yet the sector teems with rumours and eyewitness accounts of near-misses, leaks, cracks, radiation exposures and safety violations.

The costs paid by Indian citizens, in both health and environment, seem to be far greater than the meager 2.7% of electricity currently provided by India’s civilian nuclear sector (1).  An even greater injustice is that it is often the same factions of society - the nameless day labourers who are not educated in the dangers of radiation - that are brought in to clear up the mess, as are then overlooked when it comes to distributing reliable supplies of electricity.

The frequency and similarity of many of these incidents and accidents is disturbing.  It discredits the Department of Atomic Energy as the head of a nuclear industry, and the ability of the AERB to ensure safety in that industry.

Read about some accidents at nuclear power plants in India dating back to 1991 here.

In addition to all nuclear power facilities the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) must also ensure the safety of India’s 52,000-plus radiological facilities.  These include medical institutions, industrial uses, and research facilities, and safety violations happen at them, too.  The most serious incident to date is Mayapuri in 2010, in which a cobalt-60 source was sold and taken apart in a scrapyard, killing one man and hospitalising seven others.


Notes
1 As of April 2011. Central Electricity Authority http://www.cea.nic.in/

The latest updates

 

Letter from the Sarpanch to the Chief Minister

Publication | November 19, 2004 at 4:30

Sarpanch demands immediate action from the Chief Minister on Greenpeace Report

Feature story | November 19, 2004 at 4:30

HYDERABAD, India — The results of the Greenpeace Health Survey prompt the Sarpanch of Khazipally Village to demand immediate action from the government.

Greenpeace: Dhamra Port immediate threat to endangered Olive Ridley Turtle

Feature story | November 19, 2004 at 4:30

PARADIP, India — Greenpeace today called upon Indian authorities to take urgent and proactive steps for the protection of Olive Ridley Turtle mass nesting sites and the natural heritage of the Orissa coast, at a media briefing on board Rainbow...

the press conference

Image | November 19, 2004 at 4:30

the press conference

Students from the Maritime Academy have a

Image | November 19, 2004 at 4:30

Students from the Maritime Academy have a blast on board the Rainbow Warrior in Paradip.

Students visit the SV Rainbow Warrior at

Image | November 19, 2004 at 4:30

Students visit the SV Rainbow Warrior at Paradip

Save our Olive Ridleys now!

Image | November 19, 2004 at 4:30

Save our Olive Ridleys now!

Bhopal disaster - twenty years on

Feature story | November 18, 2004 at 4:30

BHOPAL/MICHIGAN, India — Almost 20 years have passed since the World's worst industrial disaster took place in Bhopal, India. To commemorate the anniversary and remind people about the environmental crimes committed by Dow we are running a series...

UN fails to protect seamounts

Feature story | November 16, 2004 at 4:30

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, United States — Security was tight and fidgety. The cameras were ready to record the moment. Our Greenpeace activist was camouflaged to blend in to her surroundings. She had borne witness to an environmental crime: the...

Giving up on GE: Greenpeace exposes truth about Bayer's 'Crop Science'

Feature story | November 15, 2004 at 4:30

BANGALORE, India — In an admission of immense significance to the entire genetic engineering (GE) industry, Bayer Crop Science has conceded to Greenpeace India that all its projects on genetically engineered (GE) crops have been ‘discontinued.’...

1771 - 1780 of 2109 results.