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

 

The People of Mahan Have Prevailed

Feature story | July 23, 2014 at 17:27

The oft-repeated quote by Mahatma Gandhi, "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win," is extraordinarily apt for the heartening news for people's power in Mahan.

Is This What Development Is?

Blog entry by Ardhra Karayil, Ajay Arockiadass & Rizwan Zubair | July 21, 2014

The controversial IB Report that demonizes many NGOs and targets Greenpeace India has been in the news a lot. It is clear to us that the report is biased and totally misleading. Having worked with Greenpeace on various issues including...

For Dharnai Youth, Solar Fires Up Passion, Local Pride

Blog entry by Somdatta Sengupta | July 21, 2014

Growing up in an era of darkness, Santan dared not believe that things could change for the better, until one day it finally did! By Somdatta Sengupta Dharnai, Bihar — Santan Kumar, 19, is shy, likes to keep to himself and a...

The Power of One

Blog entry by Somdatta Sengupta | July 21, 2014

It is not easy to believe that change is possible or change is good without conviction and a vision for the future By Somdatta Sengupta Bishunpur Tolla, Dharnai, Bihar — During the day, he is busy managing his business. At...

From Womb to Tomb: Can Microgrid Alter the Fate of Women in Rural India?

Blog entry by Neha Khator | July 21, 2014

Women in Dharnai, like Soni Devi, struggle every day to fulfill basic necessities of food, water and fuel, often risking their health and saf ety By Neha Khator Dharnai, Bihar — Till back in November last year, meeting...

Power from the Sun: A new life for Dharnai, India

Blog entry by Neha Khator and Ruhie Kumar | July 20, 2014

In this world where we seem surrounded by news of gloom and doom, we don't often hear stories of positive change. But here is one: a story of a village that has unshackled itself from darkness, after 30 years of having its energy...

Dharnai Goes LIVE Powered by Greenpeace’s First Solar Microgrid

Feature story | July 20, 2014 at 11:00

The miracle wasn’t caused by any divine intervention but by the sheer determination of Greenpeace India and the residents of Dharnai who came together to make the impossible happen.

The Blame Game Over The Power Crisis

Blog entry by Nandikesh Sivalingam | July 19, 2014

It's that time of the year again- when the buck gets passed! Every summer when the power crisis hits hard, the whole rigmarole begins with the power companies blaming coal mining companies for fuel scarcity, mining companies blaming...

Gunjan Devi: “This light has been our liberation!”

Blog entry by Somdatta Sengupta | July 18, 2014

Women can move around without fear and socialise after dark since the solar-powered microgrid has started operation in the village Dharnai, Bihar — It was a moment to remember. The local panchayat bhavan was buzzing with...

31 - 40 of 2102 results.