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

 

Greenpeace activists demonstrate outside

Image | July 17, 2006 at 3:30

Greenpeace activists demonstrate outside the headquarters of Indian IT giant Wipro in Bangalore. After nine months of intensive campaigning by Greenpeace, Wipro has committed to phasing out toxic chemicals from its products.

The Esperanza has arrived!

Feature story | July 17, 2006 at 3:30

CHENNAI, India — A blue-white smudge on the horizon is enough to cause tremendous excitement amongst everyone on board the little fishing boat bobbing up and down in the waters off the coast of Chennai. As it draws closer, revealing the brightly...

High time for Hi-Tech to clean up.

Feature story | July 11, 2006 at 3:30

It’s a strange anomaly. A company that claims to be ‘future-active’, an innovator and a market leader, seems to have contracted temporary amnesia when it comes to doing their bit for the environment. How else would you explain the fact that Wipro...

Dell computer waste (e

Image | June 27, 2006 at 11:36

Dell computer waste (e-waste) in a Chinese scrap yard.

Dell computer waste (e

Image | June 27, 2006 at 11:36

Dell computer waste (e-waste) in a Chinese scrap yard.

Dell computer waste (e

Image | June 27, 2006 at 11:36

Dell computer waste (e-waste) in a Chinese scrap yard.

Dell computer waste (e

Image | June 27, 2006 at 11:35

Dell computer waste (e-waste) in a Chinese scrap yard.

Dell computer waste (e

Image | June 27, 2006 at 11:35

Dell computer waste (e-waste) in a Chinese scrap yard.

Dell computer waste (e

Image | June 27, 2006 at 11:35

Dell computer waste (e-waste) in a Chinese scrap yard.

Disaster looms for whales

Feature story | June 19, 2006 at 17:18

FRIGATE BAY, Saint Kitts and Nevis — The international body charged by the UN with protecting the whales is about to be taken over by the world's most consistently and aggressively pro-whaling government. How could this happen? In an...

2001 - 2010 of 3710 results.