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.

1 As of April 2011. Central Electricity Authority

The latest updates


Javadekar must come clean on air pollution, says Greenpeace

Publication | July 24, 2015 at 0:50

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:

Undaunted, undefeated and unstoppable

Blog entry by Vinuta Gopal | July 23, 2015

Greenpeace India ought to be finished by now. We’ve had our accounts frozen, our reputation  smeared and our staff banned from travel. Mr. Rajnath Singh, the Minister of Home Affairs has done everything he can to shut down our...

RoS SCN notice 16th June 2015 English.pdf

Publication | July 22, 2015 at 17:55

Correspondence with Office of the Registrar

Letter to society of Registrar

Publication | July 22, 2015 at 17:45

Letter to society of Registrar

Goodbye Sandeep

Blog entry by slakshma | July 20, 2015

For the last 4 years Sandeep has been one of the friendly faces of the Greenpeace India staff on the Life at Greenpeace page of our website, and he’s been working here for 10+ years. Last week he left us for pastures new, so for one...

Dharnai: story of one solar village

Blog entry by Pujarini Sen | July 19, 2015

It’s been precisely one year now, since 2000 citizens of Dharnai, a small village near Bodhgaya in the eastern Indian state of Bihar achieved access to electricity for the first time in 30 years. To most us who are living in this...

India - remember the unstoppable power of contagious courage

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | July 9, 2015

Remember the unstoppable power of contagious courage By Kumi Naidoo Thirty years ago, groups of individuals in New Zealand were preparing to leave their families, their jobs and their homes to set off in small boats...

My Experiments with Kitchen Gardening and Composting

Blog entry by Anjum Dudekela | July 5, 2015

I never thought to do an internship with Greenpeace when I initially heard that Greenpeace India has one month left to fight for its survival. My parents were a little worried what I’d do there. But when all my queries were cleared by...

Praful Bidwai: a farewell to an activist and a defender of the truth

Blog entry by Priya Pillai | June 29, 2015

Praful Bidwai passed away on the 23rd of June due to cardiac arrest. He was a journalist, an activist, a researcher and a political commentator.  I first met Praful at a protest in Jantar Mantar and was immediately struck by his...

Suraj Weds Bijli – a tale of determination

Blog entry by Aditya Tomar | June 28, 2015

As an intern, I expected to be doing the typical, rigorous, and perhaps monotonous office work. Contrary to my belief that I would be spending hours in paper work or analysis, working at Greenpeace had many surprises in store. It was...

11 - 20 of 3803 results.