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

 

Activists slam Ministry of Home Affairs for targeting NGOs

Feature story | November 7, 2014 at 16:30

Civil society leaders today joined Greenpeace India to call on the Ministry of Home Affairs for targeting NGOs. Activists demanded that the government respects NGO’s right to dissent.

Letter to Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change

Publication | November 7, 2014 at 16:30

With the next round of IPCC negotiations upon us, Greenpeace would like to congratulate the government on indicating the seriousness it accords to the climate change issue by renaming the Ministry as to include 'Climate Change' and on your call...

Letter to Ministry of Home Affairs

Publication | November 7, 2014 at 16:30

We write to you concerning recent statements by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Delhi High Court (Greenpeace India Society vs Union of India, WP(C) 5749 of 2014). The MHA has stated in its affidavit dated October 9, 2014 that Greenpeace India...

Climate change washes off Hudhud in India

Blog entry by Aishwarya Madineni | November 6, 2014

On the 12 th of October 2014, the city of Visakhapatanam along with its neighbouring coastal villages in the district witnessed a climate catastrophe of an unimaginable scale . Cyclone Hudhud with wind speeds close to 220kmph...

Sustaining with solar

Blog entry by Anand Prabu Pathanjali | November 3, 2014

Sustaining with solar Environmental conservation and protection are the foundation stones of environmentalists and environmental organizations. Preaching and practicing measures that will uphold these beliefs are a day-to-day...

Why is the IPCC report vital for India?

Blog entry by Greenpeace editorial staff | November 3, 2014

Q & A with Navroz Dubash by Kaisa Kosonen, Campaigner, Climate & Energy, Greenpeace Nordic What’s in the new climate report for India? How bad is climate change by now? How bad could it get in the future? What can we do about...

Global Maize Contamination Report

Publication | October 29, 2014 at 12:18

Genetically modified crops were first commercially grown on a wide scale in 1996. But, there has always been concern about their effects on both health and the environment. A specific concern has been that once released, it would not be possible...

10 simple reasons to say No to GM Maize Field Trials

Blog entry by Manvendra Singh Inaniya | October 29, 2014

10 simple reasons to say No to GM Maize Field Trials 1. Inadequate regulatory mechanism The SBCC ( State Biotechnology Coordination Committee)  and DLC (District Level Committee) required by the law to monitor these field...

States Resist as the Centre Persists

Blog entry by Manvendra Singh Inaniya | October 29, 2014

Back in 2009, when a government tried to force Bt Brinjal on the public, voices from across the nation came out together to fight for their right to safe food and farmers’ right to seed sovereignty. The government finally accepted the...

"Smart" breeding, where science and farmers' knowledge meet

Publication | October 28, 2014 at 16:25

GE crops are very limited in sophistication, being almost completely dominated by herbicide tolerance and insect resistance traits. Could the numerous tools of biotechnology deliver better outcomes? This report tries to answer that question.

11 - 20 of 3707 results.